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Another Confidential Settlement Reached in Exploding Wheel Case

Amount: Undisclosed
Court: Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court
Plaintiff’s Counsel: David M. Paris & Dana M. Paris

David Paris and Dana Paris represented a 50-year-old janitor who sustained fractures to 4 fingers and a scaphoid fracture to his left hand. Our client purchased an MTD snow blower in 2005 and other than using a bicycle pump to make sure the tires were filled every season, had no problems with the product.  In 2012, one of the tires was completely flat and came off the bead of the rim. A bicycle pump couldn’t supply enough pressure to seat the bead. He, therefore, used a home compressor with the regulator set at 30 PSI, which corresponded to the “30 PSI MAX” warning embossed on the wheel rim. In 2013, he was confronted with the same issue and while inflating the tire with a compressor, the plastic wheel exploded, injuring our client’s left hand.  A lawsuit was filed against MTD, alleging the plastic wheel was defective in the manner in which it was manufactured and constructed; defective by virtue of its inferior design, both structurally and in its chemical composition; and defective because the inflation warnings and instructions related to using a commercial compressor, while present, were inadequate. As a result of multiple reports of explosions and consumer injuries, MTD and the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a national recall in October 2006 for 138,000 snow blowers. MTD denied that its plastic wheel was defective in any way and retained several experts to defend the integrity of the product. Our client had previously lost his right hand in an industrial accident, making the left hand injury a greater hardship in his activities of daily living (ADLs).  His medical bills and past wage loss amounted to $25,000.00.  His future economic loss, because of his inability to work and perform household services amounted to $1,125,000.00.  The case settled in private mediation shortly before trial.

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