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ARTICLE ID 64571

$________ - PRODUCTS LIABILITY - FAILURE OF MANUFACTURER OF ________ POUND HUTCH TO ADEQUATELY SECURE -SECURED ONLY WITH ONE SIDED TAPE - TOPPLES FORWARD AND STRIKES PLAINTIFF IN HEAD - CLOSED HEAD INJURY - ALLEGED TBI MANIFESTING IN LONG AND SHORT TERM MEMORY DIFFICULTIES - LEFT-SIDED VISION LOSS - VERTIGO AND SPEECH DISTURBANCES.

Middlesex County

The plaintiff, in his late 40s, who was working as a computer technician, contended that the ________ pound hutch that was situated on the desk he used when he visited this location every few weeks was defectively designed because it was not adequately secured. The plaintiff maintained that as a result, the hutch toppled over and struck him in the head. The plaintiff was knocked unconscious, had no memory of the event and there were no eyewitnesses to the incident. The accident occurred shortly after the plaintiff arrived for the day and the plaintiff maintained that it was likely that the hutch toppled and struck him on the head as he was bending below the desk to plug in his laptop and brushed against the hutch.

The evidence disclosed that the hutch was secured only by one-sided tape. The plaintiff’s safety expert would have maintained that the defendant should have utilized a more secure manner of attaching the hutch to the desk, such as metal brackets. The defendant denied that the product was defective and contended that the use of one-sided tape was appropriate.

The plaintiff contended that the closed head injury caused a TBI that manifested in very severe and permanent deficits that included severe difficulties with both long and short term memory, problems with concentration, vertigo and balance difficulties, a speech impediment and a loss of the left field of vision. The plaintiff contended that the deficits are permanent in nature and that he will be permanently precluded from continuing to work. The plaintiff was earning approximately $________ per year.

The plaintiff also contended that because of the balance and vertigo problems, he will permanently be unable to drive. The plaintiff further maintained that he was previously a very athletically oriented and enjoyed extreme sports and engaging in activities such as riding ATVs. The plaintiff would have presented a number of family members and friends who would have contrasted the manner in which the formerly energetic and active plaintiff is now essentially house-bound. The witnesses also would have discussed the overt changes observed in the previously outgoing and bright appearing plaintiff who is now very subdued and much more introverted.

The defendant denied that the plaintiff’s contentions should be accepted. The defendant maintained that the constellation of signs and symptoms with which the plaintiff presented are not typically associated with a TBI. The plaintiff’s expert countered that a classic correlation between the signs and symptoms and TBI was not required to find a causal connection, especially in view of the onset of the signs and symptoms immediately after the incident and the loss of consciousness. The plaintiff’s expert also contended that many of the deficits, such as the vision loss, were objectively confirmed, and that the results of a battery of neuropsychological testing supported the plaintiff’s position regarding the extent of the claimed deficits.

The defendant’s expert was of the opinion that most of the plaintiff’s complaints were psychosomatic in nature. The plaintiff elicited testimony, during discovery, that even if the complaints were psychosomatic, the defense expert could not dispute that the incident was a substantial factor in the plaintiff’s current condition and the plaintiff would have argued that it was clearly causally related, irrespective of the extent to which the condition was organic in nature.

The case settled prior to trial for $________.

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