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$________ Wheelchair repair negligence - Personal injury - Three-wheeled handicapped scooter malfunctions and stops short, causing plaintiff to be thrown to ground - Subdural hematoma - Plaintiff later dies of unrelated causes.

Middlesex Superior Court, Massachusetts

The female plaintiff was a 21-year-old woman who used a handicapped scooter for mobility. The plaintiff claimed that after the scooter malfunctioned and was fixed by the defendant authorized dealer, it malfunctioned a second time, causing her to be thrown from the scooter and injured. The defendant contended that there was no way to prove that the malfunction of the scooter which resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries was the same problem that it had serviced the scooter for.

In the initial incident, the plaintiff’s scooter malfunctioned and stopped short. The plaintiff sent the scooter to the defendant medical supply company, an authorized dealer, for servicing. The defendant picked up the scooter, worked on it and then returned it to the plaintiff. The plaintiff alleged that the scooter then malfunctioned a second time, resulting in injury. At the time of the second incident, the plaintiff was clerking for a district court judge. She alleged that when riding the scooter in the parking lot of her place of employment, the same malfunction reoccurred and the scooter again stopped short, this time throwing the plaintiff to the ground. The plaintiff landed on her head and suffered a subdural hematoma, which she claimed affected her ability to taste and smell.

The plaintiff’s expert engineer planned to testify that there was a problem with the five-pin modular wire which runs from the scooter’s control box to the motor and that there was cord damage at some point. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant did not properly check and service the scooter after the initial complaint. The plaintiff asserted that the scooter, which had no seat belts, is supposed to gradually slow down, but because of the short circuit, it came to a direct and abrupt stop, catapulting the plaintiff off because she was unable to hold on.

The plaintiff testified that she used the scooter because she suffers from a medical condition which limits the use of her arms and legs. This condition also precluded the plaintiff from putting her hands up to block her fall when the scooter suddenly stopped short.

@TITLEHD = DEFENDANTS’ NEGLIGENCE The defendant contended that there was no way to prove at which point the scooter was damaged, before or after they had serviced it, or that the malfunction which resulted in the plaintiff’s injury was the same problem that it had previously serviced the scooter for. In addition, as to damages, the defendant’s expert planned to testify that the plaintiff’s injury did not affect her ability to taste and smell. The plaintiff died from unrelated causes one year after the incident. There was an initial offer of $________ and the case subsequently settled for the sum of $________.

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