Gabrielle Smith, Individually and as Administratix of the Estate of Orlando C. Hall, Deceased v. Schwarze Industries, Inc
Wrongful Death Product Liability
Verdict in favor of Plaintiff in the amount of $4,250,000 with 49% fault allocated to decedent Orlando Hall and 51% allocated to Schwarze. This resulted in a net verdict of $2,167,500 in compensatory damages and no punitive damages.
WWHGD's trial team of Brannon Arnold, Rick Sager, Gary Toman and Michael Weathington obtained a jury verdict in a difficult and hard fought wrongful death product liability trial in Gwinnett County this week. The case arose out of an incident that occurred on September 7, 2017 when the Plaintiff’s Decedent was attempting to troubleshoot an issue on a street sweeper designed and manufactured by the firm’s client. The Decedent left the engine running, climbed the side of the street sweeper, wedged himself into a narrow compartment not meant for access behind a lockable door and was ultimately crushed to death by inadvertent activation of the conveyor when his leg contacted an exterior control that Plaintiff claimed should have been guarded. Plaintiff sought claims in the amount of $25 million alleging design defect, failure to warn, and punitive damages. After a 5-day trial and a day and a half of deliberation, the jury awarded $4,250,000 and no punitive damages. The jury further found that the Decedent was 49% at fault for the accident which reduced the net recovery to $2,167,500. This final judgment was only 8% of the $25 million ask – a very favorable result for the firm’s client.