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Dennis Goebel and Mel Karfis Win Products Case In Federal Court

United States District Judge David Lawson has granted a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Dennis and Mel in this product liability case in which the quadriplegic Plaintiff claimed that his use of an allegedly defective ROHO air cushion caused a stage 1 pressure sore which did not heal and which became a stage 4 open wound. The Plaintiff alleged that the air cushion was defectively designed and manufactured such that in June 2001 there was a catastrophic loss of air from the cushion. The loss of air allegedly caused the Plaintiff to “bottom out” resulting in a pressure sore on his buttocks. The Plaintiff claimed that the loss of air was due to a change in ambient temperature, his left pelvic obliquity, shifting weight during the course of the day, the cushion allowed capillary occlusion to occur and/or that the air valve may have leaked. The Defendant denied that the cushion was negligently designed and/or manufactured. The Plaintiff used the Defendant’s cushion for several years before the incident and for two years afterward. There were no prior instances of catastrophic air loss. In addition, pressure sores can develop in quadriplegic patients even when they are most vigilant about their pressure relief regimen. The Court granted Summary Judgment because the Plaintiff failed to produce evidence of causation. The Court found that the Plaintiff did no more than describe possibilities and therefore amounted to speculation.