Man Awarded $4.7M After Injuries Sustained From Defective Ladder

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Donnett Hickson,
Legal Staff Writer

On June 30, 2017, at the end of a five-day trial in Florida federal court, jurors sided with a man who sustained serious injuries from a devastating fall off a Husky-brand ladder. The plaintiff was awarded over $4.7 million in damages, which are to be paid by the ladder’s manufacturer and seller, Tricam Industries and Home Depot, respectively.

The plaintiff, Moises Ore, filed the suit back in 2014 alleging that at least one of the rivets that held the ladder together at its movable joints failed to keep the ladder locked in place. The ladder collapsed and Ore suffered extensive injuries as a result of the allegedly defective rivets. But, specific details of the nature and severity of the injuries that Ore suffered were not included in the complaint.

His suit originally included “one count of strict liability, manufacturing defect, design defect and failure to warn and one count a piece for negligent design, manufacture and warning” for each defendant while his wife brought about one count of loss of consortium against both Tricam and Home Depot. However, Mrs. Ore later voluntarily dismissed both of her claims.

The jury found that there was negligence on both sides, assigning 55% fault to Tricam, 15% to Home Depot, and the rest to Ore and his employer, Tire Kingdom. As for strict liability, the jury found that Tricam and Home Depot were collectively responsible for 70%, while 30% was to again be shared by Ore and his employer who filed a notice of a subrogation lien for employing Ore at the time of the accident and having to pay medical and workers’ compensation benefits to Ore following the fall.

In terms of damages, the jury returned Friday to relay their findings: Ore is to receive $517,000 for past loss of earnings and $200,800 for past medical expenses; $1.8 million for future loss of earnings; $1.6 million for future noneconomic damages; $223,000 for anticipated medical expenses; and $367,000 for past economic damages such as pain and suffering, disabilit, and mental anguish.

Lawyers for Tricam and Home Depot have said they plan to contest the verdict on the grounds that “the verdict contradicted the evidence of causation.”
The case is Ore v. Tricam Industries Inc. et al., case number 0:14-cv-60269, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

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