Thu, Apr 25, 2013

Sanner Obtains Defense Verdict on Wrongful Death Claim

Jon Sanner defended an apartment complex owner and management company on a wrongful death claim arising from the death of an 20-month-old toddler. The parents of the deceased child claimed that their son died as a result of injuries suffered when the kitchen stove tipped over and suffocated the child as he was trapped beneath it. Plaintiffs claimed that the apartment owner and its management were liable for the death because the stove lacked anti-tip brackets. Defendants conceded that the stove lacked anti-tip brackets, but contested the parents’ claim that the stove tipped over on the child. Weight tests on the stove showed that the child was of insufficient weight to tip over the stove when placed on the open oven door. Additionally, there were no injuries to the child and a medical expert witness testified that the absence of injuries was not consistent with the parents’ description of the accident. The case was tried over 7 days and the jury deliberated 5 hours before returning a verdict in favor of the Defendants. Plaintiffs’ last settlement demand was $1.5 Million and no settlement offer was made.