Despite the “truly tragic” circumstances of a child’s devastating head injury in a car crash, a federal appeals court panel has upheld a jury verdict denying recovery from the maker of the child’s car seat.
Lawyers for Samantha Musick and her family sued the car seat manufacturer for $50 million claiming her brain injury was the result of a lack of padding in the car seat. The five-year-old had suffered a skull fracture in a 2009 rear end collision.
As lawyers butted heads in litigation, the trial judge imposed nearly $70,000 in sanctions against the manufacturer for failing to turn over information to the girl’s lawyers.
An Abingdon federal jury in 2011 found the car seat was not defective, closing the door on any recovery against the manufacturer. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that verdict Monday in an unpublished opinion, turning aside objections to the manufacturer’s evidence that the car seat complied with a federal safety standard.
“We do not envy the task undertaken by the jury here, which must have been extraordinarily difficult; that is all more reason, however, for us to respect the verdict it ultimately reached,” the per curiam court said in a footnote.