Drew Eckl & Farnham Attorney’s Efforts Result in Important Victory for Defendant. Partner Andrew Horowitz recently obtained a defense verdict for the owner of an equipment-rental store in the Superior Court of Jackson County.
Andrew Horowitz, attorney at the law firm of Drew Eckl & Farnham, recently obtained a defense verdict for the owner of an equipment-rental store in the Superior Court of Jackson County. The lawsuit stemmed from a December 12, 2012, accident at the Defendant's store. On that date, the Plaintiff was severely burned when a propane gas heater in the store ignited his clothing. The Plaintiff was subsequently hospitalized for nearly two months, and his resulting medical bills topped $550,000. At trial, he claimed that, at the time of the accident, the Defendant was using the heater improperly and in violation of the product's printed warnings. He also claimed that, by violating the product's warnings, the Defendant exposed him to an unreasonably dangerous condition as well. The Plaintiff sought damages for his post-accident medical bills, as well as his past and future pain and suffering. The Plaintiff's final, pretrial settlement demand was $1.2 million, and, at trial, he asked the jury to return a 7-figure verdict as well.
In response, the Defendant presented evidence that the accident did not stem from a hidden hazard and that the Plaintiff had equal knowledge of the open-and-obvious hazard at issue in this case – namely, that getting too close to a red-hot heater can cause a burn. Furthermore, he argued that the Plaintiff assumed the risk of injury by knowingly getting too close to the heater, thereby assuming the risk of his injury.
After roughly 20 minutes of deliberation, the jury returned a defense verdict. Andrew Horowitz was supported by Dana Weinberger for the trial.
If you have specific questions regarding this decision, please contact Andrew Horowitz.