Defective Product Case Results
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Joann Smith as administratrix of the Estate of Michael Paul Smith v. Montclair Orthopedic Surgeons; Esaote; and Lunar Corporation, et al. ( Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Alabama)
- $7 Million Verdict, Later Settled Confidentially
Michael Paul Smith presented to an orthopedic surgeon for a knot on his thigh. An MRI was performed on the thigh and Mr. Smith was told not to worry about it. Almost two (2) years later, the knot was diagnosed as a malignant tumor. Mr. Smith died as a result of the tumor. It was alleged that the MRI machine was improperly used, that the MRI machine was defectively designed, that improper instructions were given on the use of the MRI machine. During trial, a confidential settlement agreement was reached with the product manufacturer and distributor. A jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff and against the physician’s practice in the amount of $7 million. The case was later settled pursuant to a confidentiality agreement.
Bobby Pierce vs. Duo-Fast/Illinois Tool Works (Circuit Court of Dekalb County, Alabama)
- $2 Million Verdict
While working as a home framer, Mr. Pierce was shot in the eye when a Duo-Fast nail gun inadvertently activated. Mr. Pierce lost vision in his eye and his ability to earn a living was impaired. It was our contention that the subject nail gun was equipped with a defectively designed trigger. At trial, it was proven that Duo-Fast removed (for safety reasons) the defectively designed trigger from the nail gun, but then offered the defective trigger as an option and sold it to consumers. The trigger allowed a nail to be inadvertently fired. Attorneys Jeff Kirby and Mike Bradley tried the case to a Dekalb County, Alabama jury. The jury returned a verdict of $2 million for Mr. Pierce.
DeWaun King v. Alpine Engineered Products and Simonds International (Circuit Court of Mobile County, Alabama)
- $1.6 Million Verdict
On Nov. 24, 2004, DeWaun King went to work at Modern Homes (manufactured housing plant) in Mobile, Alabama. DeWaun was a saw operator responsible for operating the computer that would dictate how the wood was cut by the industrial saw. The saw was manufactured by Alpine Engineered Products (Defendant) and was installed at Modern Homes approximately two years prior to the incident.
The saw was equipped with several 18-inch steel diameter blades that were manufactured by Simonds International (Defendant). At some point during the day, the bolts holding the blade to the mandrel broke off during operation of the saw thereby allowing the blade to come out of the saw and strike DeWaun King in the leg. As a result of the incident, DeWaun King sustained an open distal femur fracture that required surgery. The surgical procedure involved incision and drainage, repair of quad muscle lacerations and closure of multiple layers of wound followed by the insertion of a rod and screws in his leg.
As a result of the injuries and necessary surgery, Dewaun was left with a permanent impairment to the lower extremity of 28% and an impairment to his whole body of 11%. It was alleged in the lawsuit that the 18-inch steel diameter saw blade was defectively designed and manufactured in that the countersink holes (holes where the bolts feed through) were oversized thereby causing excessive vibration and pressure on the bolts, which ultimately led to the failure.
The defendants countered and suggested that the bolt failure was due to over tightening the bolts during the blade change process and was the fault of he workers at Modern Homes. The case was tried in April of 2008 and a Mobile County jury returned a verdict in favor of DeWaun King in the amount of $1.6 million against Simonds and Alpine. Shortly thereafter, the case settled.
Bobby Ayers vs. Duo-Fast (Circuit Court of Winston County, Alabama)
- Confidential Settlement
While working in a mobile home manufacturing plant, Mr. Ayers was shot in the back with a nail gun. It was alleged that the subjects nail gun was equipped with a defectively designed trigger and that the trigger allowed a nail to be inadvertently fired. Mr. Ayers suffered a permanent, disabling injury. The case was settled pursuant to a confidentiality agreement.
Stephanie Price v. Chesebrough-Ponds USA, et al. (Circuit Court of Mobile County, Alabama)
- Confidential Settlement
Stephanie Price sustained third-degree burns to 45% of her body when her hair caught on fire while using a sculpting hair spritz, a curling iron and an oven which was used to heat the curling iron. Stephanie Price alleged that the products were defectively designed and failed to provide adequate warnings. The case was settled pursuant to a confidentiality agreement.
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