Goodell, DeVries, Leech & Dann, LLP

Crown Equipment Corp Prevails in Product Liability Case in Iowa

July 2018

After a two week trial in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, Eastern Division before Judge Mark W. Bennett, Thomas J. Cullen, Jr.Margaret C. O'NeillKali Enyeart Book, and Ryan M. Cullen obtained a defense verdict in favor of Crown Equipment Corporation, a leading manufacturer of material handling equipment. In Dustin Reinard, et al. v. Crown Equipment Corporation, plaintiffs alleged Crown’s stand-up rider forklift’s open operator compartment was defective in design because it lacked a compartment door which allegedly caused plaintiff’s below-the-knee leg amputation. Plaintiffs requested damages of $15 million. Plaintiffs also presented a punitive damages claim to the jury. Thomas J. Cullen, Jr. argued that a compartment door could exacerbate injuries and put forklift operators at risk of serious or fatal injuries in off-the-dock or tipover accidents. The jury deliberated for approximately 4 hours before returning a full defense verdict on the design defect claim.

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