. .

Invest in your success.
JVRA helps lawyers win cases by providing critical information you can use to establish precedent, determine demand and win arguments.


$________ Negligence - Ultrahazardous activity - Explosives accident - Plaintiff loses eye when booster cap explodes in her face - Punitive damages.


The female plaintiff in this action was a supervisor for the defendant corporation which manufactured cross-over booster caps that are used for ejector seats in fighter planes. These booster caps are small, but very powerful, and are sensitive primary pyrotechnics. The defendant, a Colorado-based corporation, decided to transfer the manufacture of these cross-over booster caps to its wholly owned subsidiary in Fairfield, Ca. The plaintiff was working at the defendant’s facility in Fairfield, where the company was training temporary employees to transfer and move these highly volatile pyrotechnics.

On December 18, ________, the plaintiff was walking out of the building at the end of her shift when she noticed two totes containing the cross-over boosters. The totes contained aluminum trays and each tray held 20 to 25 parts for a total of approximately ________ separate parts in the tote. The parts stuck up above their nesting sites, which created a potential for contact between the trays and the parts if the trays were stacked. As the plaintiff was in the process of picking up the totes, friction caused a booster cap to detonate. The initial detonation caused the detonation of all ________ booster caps. The plaintiff, who was not wearing her safety glasses at the time, received numerous facial lacerations and lost her left eye due to plastic shrapnel which became imbedded in it.

The plaintiff claimed that while she was in the hospital, her supervisor came by and asked if she would return to work to boost company morale.

The plaintiff also claimed that her supervisor promised that the procedure which gave rise to her injury would be stopped until it could be performed safely. One and a half months later, she returned to work, but unbeknownst to her, the same process that caused her injuries continued to be used.

On February 15, ________, the plaintiff was at work when she witnessed a second explosion, which severely injured another employee. The plaintiff suffered posttraumatic stress disorder as a result of this second incident which made it impossible for the plaintiff to continue in her profession.

The plaintiff contended that the defendant failed to provide adequate process safety management for this ultrahazardous activity. According to the plaintiff, up until ________, OEA Aerospace had worked only with less powerful and far more stable secondary explosives. Since this facility had little or no experience with primary explosives, its safety director made numerous reports and requests to the defendant for safety training for employees who lacked the skill and training for handling primary explosives. The plaintiff asserted that these reports and requests were made repeatedly from ________ through ________, but were denied. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant’s directors traveled to the facility where the incident occurred and demanded that production, which was behind schedule, be met at any cost. The defendant made the comment that they could hire monkeys to perform this work, totally minimizing the danger of handling these types of explosives.

The defendant contended that its subsidiary, where the plaintiff was working, was fully responsible for the safety of its employees and therefore, the defendant was not liable for the plaintiff’s injuries.

The plaintiff’s demand and the defendant’s offer in this case are confidential. In this bifurcated trial, the jury deliberated for two days and returned an award of $________ in compensatory damages broken down as $________ for economic damages and $________ for noneconomic damages. The jury then deliberated for one-half day for the punitive phase of the trial and returned with an award of $10 million in punitive damages. The jury found the defendant 80% negligent and the subsidiary corporation where the plaintiff actually worked 20% negligent, for a net verdict of $________. The plaintiff was also allowed costs of $________.

The defendant’s motion for new trial and JNOV was denied. The defendant has filed a notice of appeal. Defense counsel reported that in the punitive damage phase, the court refused to let the defendant put on evidence of its current net worth. The court gave the jury financial statements of the defendant’s parent corporation instead.

To read the full article, please login to your account or purchase

5 ways to win with JVRA

JVRA gives you jurisdiction-specific, year-round insight into the strategies, arguments and tactics that win. Successful attorneys come to the table prepared and use JVRA to:

  1. Determine if a case is winnable and recovery amounts.
  2. Determine reasonable demand for a case early on.
  3. Support a settlement demand by establishing precedent.
  4. Research trial strategies, tactics and arguments.
  5. Defeat or support post-trial motions through past case histories.

Try JVRA for a day or a month, or sign up for our deluxe Litigation Support Plan and put the intelligence of JVRA to work for all of your clients. See our subscription plans.