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Judge upholds discovery sanctions for products trial

The maker of a line of child car seats is on trial in Abingdon with a handicap — the court has banned any evidence about why the company chose not to add protective foam to the head area side wings of the car seat in question.

In the trial, a seven-year-old girl is seeking $20 million in damages claiming the car seat made by Dorel Juvenile Group Inc. failed to protect her from catastrophic head injuries in a car crash.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge James Jones turned aside Dorel’s objection to a magistrate judge’s decision to bar the evidence as a penalty for discovery abuse. Dorel’s lawyer provided false information about the company’s decision not to add foam padding.

Trial in the case began Monday in Abingdon federal court.

Jones earlier ruled the girl’s lawyers could present an expert estimate of her future lost earnings despite the fact she was only five years old at the time of the accident.

By Peter Vieth

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