Defense Verdict in Products Liability Case for Edward J. Smith III, Esq., in Onondaga County Supreme Court.

Edward J. Smith III, Esq. defended a Belgium based manufacturing company, a United States distributor, and a local product sales representative in a products liability action in Onondaga County during a three week December Trial before the Honorable Anthony J. Paris, J.S.C. The plaintiff, a developmental aide in a group home for the physically and mentally handicapped, claimed to have been permanently disabled while operating an overhead patient lifting system. According to the plaintiff, she was injured when a portable motor and roller assembly connected to a ceiling mounted rail system dislodged and struck her, causing her to fall to the ground. The plaintiff claimed she suffered severe injuries to her cervical spine, requiring her to undergo two post-accident cervical spine surgeries. During trial, the defendants demonstrated through expert engineering testimony and the use of a product exemplar that the patient lifting system was not defective and the detachment of the roller assembly was attributable to an unforeseeable misuse of the product. On cross examination the plaintiff admitted to a number of inconsistencies in her Trial testimony. Ultimately the plaintiff admitted she failed to inform her doctors of several pre-existing medical conditions and was unable to provide a descriptive account of the alleged accident. After three weeks of trial the jury deliberated for just over three hours and returned a verdict in favor of all the defendants, finding the product was not defective and the plaintiff’s injuries were not related to the accident.