Virginia Lawyers Weekly//October 17, 2011
Virginia Lawyers Weekly//October 17, 2011//
Plaintiff, then 89, was seated in her home stairway elevator when her seat pivoted without warning, causing her to fall out of the chair and down the staircase, breaking her neck and wrist. Suit was filed against the product manufacturer and the local distributor, alleging breach of warranty, negligence and failure to warn. Through discovery, it was learned that the manufacturer had developed a service kit designed to address the specific defect (a loose bolt) which allowed the seat to pivot and gave rise to plaintiff’s injury. The defendants disputed between themselves whether the service kits were distributed and/or received.
The case settled at mediation before Johanna Fitzpatrick for $750,000.
Type of action: Personal injury – products liability
Injuries alleged: Broken neck, broken wrist
Name of case: Confidential
Court: Fairfax Circuit Court
Tried before: Mediation
Mediator: Johanna Fitzpatrick
Date: Dec. 16, 2010
Verdict or settlement: Settlement
Attorneys for plaintiff: Thomas J. Curcio, Alexandria; James C. Clark, Alexandria
Plaintiff’s experts: Dr. Robert Watson, metallurgist, South Bend, Ind.; Eric Heiberg, engineer, Cedar Knolls, N.J.
Defendants’ experts: Walter Laird, mechanical engineer, Richmond; Jon B. Halpern, professional engineer, Syosset, N.Y.