WHAT WAS THE DEFENSE THINKING?
Lawyers USA recently reported a jury award of $19 million in a seat belt rollover case. Eric Polston claimed that a defective seat belt design caused him to be ejected from a vehicle in a car crash. The Plaintiff became paralyzed as a result of the injuries he sustained. An Arkansas jury awarded $19 million to the 18 year old Plaintiff.
The 18 year old was driving on the highway in Arkansas when a dog ran in front of his car. He swerved to avoid hitting the dog. His 1988 Ford Windstar rolled over, ejecting him from the vehicle and causing him to be paralyzed from the waist down.
The defense claims that the Plaintiff was not wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash.
The police officer told the jury that the Mr. Polston told him immediately after the crash that he was seat belted and was thrown from the car. Another powerful witness for the injured party was a nurse who saw bruising on Polston’s chest, at the hospital, consistent with injuries suffered from a shoulder harness of the seat belt.
What I found incredible about this case was that the defense made no offer to settle the case. That is right – $0. They apparently relied on their engineering experts to testify that the seat belt design was proper and that there was nothing wrong with the seat belt….