Robert Needham v The Roho Group — Product liability claim pending in the US District Court in Detroit; February 2007 USDC Judge David Lawson grants Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment; Plaintiff is a quadriplegic who was confined to a wheelchair. The Plaintiff used Defendant’s air inflated cushion to prevent pressure sores. He used the cushion successfully over a number of years but in June 2001 he claims an incident occurred where the cushion lost air pressure and caused a stage 1 ulcer on his buttocks. The stage 1 ulcer reportedly developed into a stage 4 ulcer. The Plaintiff claimed that the open wound resulted from the Defendant’s alleged negligence in the design and manufacture of the cushion. The Defendant denied that the cushion was defectively designed or manufactured. Further, the Defendant stated that the Plaintiff failed to prove causation, i.e., that the alleged defect resulted in the loss of air pressure in the cushion. Judge Lawson agreed with the Defendant and granted summary judgment.
Estate of Vernon Wingard v Nutro Corporation
Court of Appeals decision March 2007. Jury verdict for Defendant in product liability death case where decedent Vernon Wingard was caught between the end of a conveyor and barrier guarding. Plaintiff appealed jury verdict of “no cause for action”. The Plaintiff appealed arguing that he had met the burden of proof and that the Trial Court failed to direct a verdict in favor of the Plaintiff. The Court of Appeals affirmed the jury verdict.
Sean Peter Cloyd v Nagy Trucking
Macomb County (Michigan) Circuit Court, June 2007, Motion for Summary Disposition. The Court granted Defendants'' Motion for Summary Disposition dismissing the Plaintiff''s claim in its entirety. The Plaintiff was a cement truck driver working for Nagy Ready Mix. A tractor trailer driven by a Nagy Trucking employee allegedly crushed the Plaintiff between his tractor trailer and the Plaintiff''s cement truck which was parked in the Nagy Ready Mix fueling yard. The Plaintiff brought a negligence action against Nagy Trucking, the Defendant tractor trailer driver and another entity that owned the tractor trailer. The Plaintiff alleged that the Defendants were separate and distinct corporate entities. Case evaluation awarded the Plaintiff $1.6 million. Defendants brought a Motion for Summary Disposition arguing that pursuant to the economic realities test, all the corporate Defendants would be construed as the Plaintiff''s employer and thus his claim would be barred by the exclusive remedy provision of the Worker''s Disability Compensation Act (WDCA). The trial Court agreed granting Defendants'' motion dismissing the Plaintiff''s case in its entirety against all the Defendants.
John Bonnici v Auto Club Insurance Association — Macomb County Circuit Court, October 2008, Summary Disposition for the Defendant. Plaintiff was insured through AAA and had road side assistance coverage. His vehicle broke down on I-94 and he contacted AAA’s dispatcher. Plaintiff left his vehicle during a snow storm to determine his location and was struck by another vehicle causing serious injuries. The Trial Court ruled that the Defendant had no duty of care separate and distinct from the insurance contract. The Court held that no Court action was enforceable when based solely on the non-performance of a contractual duty.
City of Lake Wilson v Detroit Radiant Co.
Jury Verdict of no cause of action. Murray County District Court, Slayton, Minnesota, May 2009. Detroit Radiant Co. manufactures industrial and commercial grade gas fired radiant heaters. The City purchased a 50’ Detroit Radiant heater which was installed by a third-part in a newly constructed fire station in Slayton, Minnesota. After approximately 18 months of service, there was a massive explosion which destroyed the fire station, substantially damaged an adjacent grain elevator and damaged many nearby businesses and residential buildings. There was $2,000,000 in property damage. It was alleged that the Detroit Radiant heater was defective, because it was delivered without a flexible steel connector. A gas leak occurred because there was thermal expansion of the 50’ radiant heater. No accommodation for thermal expansion was made during installation. Plaintiff claimed that Detroit Radiant should have provided a stainless steel flexible connector. The Defendant responded that the local installers had actual knowledge of thermal expansion, were aware of the need for the gas line to accommodate thermal expansion, were aware of the availability of stainless steel flexible connectors, had them in stock, and chose to use an alternate method, which the installers felt was as good as a stainless steel flexible connector. The installers claimed that they utilized flexible copper tubing, and made a “loop” to absorb the expansion. The jury found for Detroit Radiant Products Co., that the radiant heater was not defective. The jury found that the installers were negligent in the manner in which the gas line was installed.