Pennsylvania Personal Injury Victim Granted New Trial on Damages

Posted on: June 26th, 2012       Attorney Thomas Newell

On Sept. 21. 2010, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania overruled the Trial Court and granted a PA personal injury victim a new trial limited to the issue of the award of damages.  In January of 2003, a man purchased 2 tree stands to be used for hunting.  In September of 2005, the Pennsylvania personal injury victim was installing a tree stand in Butler County.  Unfortunately, a locking strap broke free and the hunter fell to the ground.

One of the victim’s vertebrae was crushed and his personal injury attorney filed a lawsuit versus the distributors and manufacturers of the alleged defective product.  A jury verdict was entered in favor of the defendants.  They had successfully argued that the plaintiff had voluntarily assumed the risk of using the tree stand and had exhibited highly reckless conduct by “setting the stand” and failing to use the fall restraint device.

The PA Superior Court ruled that there was insufficient evidence presented to prove assumption of the risk/reckless conduct on the part of the plaintiff.  Therefore, the issue of the defendants’ legal responsibility never should have reached the jury.  The PA personal injury victim was entitled to a new trial to have a jury make a damage award.  Reott v. Asia Trend, Inc., et al., 2010 Pa. Super. 176 (2010)

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