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Sullivan County, PA

The plaintiff’s two cousins were playing a joke on the plaintiff when the portable toilet the plaintiff was using tipped over, causing the plaintiff to be permanently paralyzed from the neck down. The plaintiff brought this action against the manufacturer of the portable toilet, the installer of the toilet and the plaintiff’s two cousin in-laws who were involved in the incident. The plaintiff alleged that the toilet was defectively designed in that it lacked adequate stabilization, and that it was negligently installed on a slant without proper staking to the ground. The plaintiff also contended that his two cousins were negligent in causing the unit to tip over. The defendant manufacturer and installer contended that the toilet was intentionally knocked over by the plaintiff’s relatives who used a pick-up truck and rocking motion to overturn the unit.

The plaintiff was on a hunting trip with the defendant cousins when he entered the portable toilet. Evidence showed that the cousins backed a pickup truck up to the door of the unit and began rocking it. The toilet fell over and the plaintiff sustained fractures of his cervical vertebrae and a spinal cord injury.

The plaintiff underwent surgery and spent some two months in a rehabilitation facility after the incident. He has been rendered a permanent quadriplegic, paralyzed from the neck down and has lost bowel and bladder control. The plaintiff’s life care plan was projected to cost $6 to $10 million.

The plaintiff was 37-years-old and was employed as a heavy equipment operator at the time of injury.

The plaintiff argued that the portable toilet was defectively designed without the provision of stakes or another method to secure it to the ground. The plaintiff also claimed that the floor of the unit was constructed of excessively lightweight plastic, making the unit top-heavy and prone to tipping.

In addition, the plaintiff argued that the defendant installer negligently placed the unit on a 14% angle and used a piece of lumber in an attempt to level it.

The defendant cousins maintained that they blocked the door of the toilet with the truck and were yelling and banging on the unit as a joke. The defendants argued that they did not intend to knock the unit over.

The defendant manufacturer and installer argued that the co-defendant cousins hit the toilet with a pick-up truck and then began rocking it until it tipped over.The case settled for a total of $________.

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