Monday, October 15, 2012

Verdict Survey: Playground Equipment in Greenville County

Products liability verdicts are fairly infrequent in South Carolina, as our state seems to be following the unfortunate trend that fewer and fewer cases actually go to trial.  Therefore, in an effort to put some “meat” on the bones of the “Verdicts” portion of this site (and to provide greater frequency of content), I am going to periodically survey past verdicts in South Carolina products liability cases.  Similar to the Case Briefs, these posts will provide some basic case information that may be useful if you are evaluating a similar case of your own.  I am generally going to profile more recent verdicts first, and work my way backward.  In addition, this exercise will also add some content on experts utilized during the trials.

So without further I ado, I give you the first verdict survey.  

Capsule Summary: On March 20, 2008, a Greenville County jury returned a defense verdict in a playground equipment case involving alleged injuries to a fifty-five-year-old grandmother.  She was injured while helping her grandson on a “track ride” piece of equipment (general depiction above).

Case Information: Mascow v. Playland International, Inc., C/A No. 06-CP-23-0664R

Date of Verdict: March 20, 2008

Venue: Greenville County Court of Common Pleas

Judge: John C. Few

Factual Background:  The case involved a married, fifty-five-year-old grandmother who was a salon owner. She sustained injuries while playing with her grandson at a playground.  Plaintiff was assisting her grandson with the “track ride” equipment and claimed the horizontal bar on the ride came loose and fell on her. 

Allegations and Procedure: Plaintiff brought a products liability lawsuit against Playland International, Inc. She claimed Playland manufactured the equipment and that it was defectively designed because of detachment of the horizontal bar.  Playland contended it did not manufacture or sell the equipment at issue.  Playland also claimed that even if it manufactured the equipment, the equipment was safe; there were no other accidents involving the horizontal bar.   

Experts: Plaintiff named Archie Hardy as an expert witness in playground equipment.  Playland attacked the credibility of Plaintiff’s expert.

Alleged Damages: Plaintiff claimed she sustained soft tissue neck, back and arm injuries.  She claimed her low back injury was permanent.  She sought $13,000 in past medical expenses. Playland disputed the nature and extent of Plaintiff’s injuries. 

Disposition: After six hours of deliberation, the jury returned a defense verdict. 

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