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ARTICLE ID 7891

$________ AGAINST ARCADE ONLY Allegedly defective arcade boxing game - Extensor tendon injury - Surgery performed - Partial loss of function of hand.

Broward County, Florida

The plaintiff contended that an arcade boxing machine was defectively designed in that the punching bag in the machine moved to expose a metal support rod, injuring the plaintiff’s hand. The defendants in this case included the distributor of the machine as well as the arcade where the game was located.

The male plaintiff was 24 years old at the time he used the arcade boxing machine at issue. The machine included a step-up platform with a bunching bag that rates the puncher as a "wimp" or a "superman." No boxing gloves are provided for the user.

The plaintiff’s mechanical engineer testified that there was insufficient padding in the machine. He testified that the punching bag moved, exposed the metal rod (which holds the bag) and allowed the plaintiff’s fist to contact the metal rod. The plaintiff’s physician testified that the plaintiff sustained extensor tendon damage while using the machine. The plaintiff underwent minor surgery to repair the tendon.

However, the plaintiff’s physician testified that the plaintiff has been left with a partial loss of function of the left hand. He also testified that the plaintiff sustained a six percent permanent impairment of the whole body, but that he would experience no future pain from the injury.

The defendant distributor’s amusement safety expert opined that the machine at issue was safe and not defectively designed. However, the defendant distributor argued that the punching bag was not sufficiently inflated with air and that the codefendant arcade failed to maintain the machine. The defendant arcade’s safety expert opined that there was nothing unreasonably unsafe about the punching bag. The machine would not expose the metal rod unless it was misused, according to this expert. The defendant arcade contended that the plaintiff must have misused the machine by intentionally striking the bag from the top to bottom in a downward direction. The court directed a verdict for the defendants on the plaintiff’s failure to warn claim at the close of evidence.

The jury found that the boxing machine was not defectively designed and found for the defendant distributor on the negligence count against it. It found the defendant arcade ________% negligent and awarded the plaintiff $________ in damages against the arcade only. The plaintiff requested $________ in damages during closing statements.

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