Defective Product Cases
Burn Injuries – Confidential Settlement in Cleburne County, Alabama
Mike Beard represented a Heflin man who suffered terrible burn injuries mostly to his legs when his clothing ignited after he came too close to a propane tank top heater. Our client was wearing insulated coveralls in his workshop and didn’t feel the heat until his clothing was on fire. Mike argued that the heater was defective because the wire guard is really no guard at all. In fact, the temperatures at the guard are so high that any contact or near contact will result in immediate burns or ignition of clothing or other materials. The maker of the heater never considered an alternative guard and blamed our client for causing his own injuries.
Faulty Wall Heater – Confidential Settlement In Winston County, Alabama
Rip Andrews settled a case on behalf of a couple who lost their only son, age 7, in a house fire started by a faulty wall heater, and the couple was severely injured in the fire, as well. The fire marshal concluded the fire was caused by an in-wall radiant electric heater igniting a couch. The heater was made in 1974 and it had no independent off switch, and it could not be unplugged. It included no fire warnings. There was also no indicator light to let the users know it was powered on.
The couple, who were living in the family home temporarily, thought the heater was no longer working. It is believed that when temperatures dropped, near 40° F, the heater kicked on during the middle of the night.
Crashworthiness – Confidential Settlement In Chambers County, Alabama
Derrick Mills reached a settlement on behalf of three passengers involved in a car wreck on I-85 in rural Chambers County. After the driver initially lost and then regained control, the sports utility vehicle in which the three passengers were riding tipped on the roadway, ultimately rolling over several times and coming to a rest in the median. The driver and one of the passengers died as a result of their injuries; the two remaining passengers suffered severe and permanent injuries. The case focused on the SUV’s instability and propensity to roll.
Machinery Case – Confidential Settlement In Madison County, Alabama
Mike Beard and Derrick Mills settled a case on behalf of a man who lost his leg from an on-the-job injury. At the time, the client was working for a contractor that provided paper-shredding services for various agencies of the federal government. The shredder he used was so large it was mounted to a flatbed trailer. It was also brand new, but it literally came apart while it was operating; large pieces of fan blades struck the client’s right leg, which later had to be amputated.
Tire Case – Confidential Settlement In St. Clair County, Alabama
Rip Andrews and David Marsh settled a products liability case growing out of a car wreck that occurred when a Texas family was driving through Alabama on I-20. The crash occurred when a rear tire of the large SUV the family was riding in suffered a tread/belt separation; that, in turn, led to the SUV rolling over on the road. The case focused on both manufacturing and design problems with the tire and the SUV’s lack of a stability control system. Five children were hurt in the wreck. The oldest child suffered permanent brain injuries.
Products Liability – $900,000 Verdict In Marion County, Alabama
Jeff Rickard won a $900,000 verdict for a client who lost his right arm and suffered serious leg and hip fractures in a tractor rollover accident.
The case exposed the “gray market” in which used tractors made for sale only in Japan are later imported into the U.S. without authorization of the manufacturer. Those tractors are built narrow and light to use in the rice paddies of Japan, but they do not meet U.S. safety standards.
The claims against the American company that imported and sold the “gray market” tractor were settled prior to trial for $550,000. The claims against the Japanese manufacturer were dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction, but the claims against the American distributor for negligent failure to warn proceeded to trial and resulted in the favorable verdict.
Elevator Injury – Confidential Settlement In Florida
A Florida jury found a general contractor to be responsible, at least in part, for an incident in which a little girl was trapped and crushed inside an elevator shaft. The case was tried by David Marsh and Mike Beard. The contractor was the last remaining defendant in the case; others who played a role in the installation of the residential elevator had settled already for confidential amounts. Before the jury could determine a dollar figure, the general contractor also settled the case for a confidential amount.
These recoveries and testimonials are not an indication of future results. Every case is different, and regardless of what friends, family or other individuals may say about what a case is worth, each case must be evaluated on its own facts and circumstances as they apply to the law. The valuation of a case depends on the facts, the injuries, the jurisdiction, the venue, the witnesses, the parties, and the testimony, among other factors. Furthermore, no representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.