JVR Trial Excellence Awards 2022

Outstanding Defense Verdict in a Product Liability Case

rental house provided by workers’ compensation for 14 months,continued to receive extensive therapy, and finally returned home in Nov. 2016. He is perma - nently disabled and will need several future surgeries on his spine, ankle and knee ($1,100,501 past medical expenses, $1,545,869 future medical expenses, $1,079,334 lifetime LT). Pltf contended the bolts were insufficient in strength and type, the jib stowage system was unreasonably dangerous in design, and Terex owed a duty to warn about the propensity of the bolts to break and the jib to fall following several other comparable incidents in several countries (some fatal). Pltf claimed Terex was guilty of willful and wanton misconduct in not is- suing a warning after the other incidents, and later by issuing a Product Adviso- ry in March 2015 (four months after pltf’s accident) instead of a Recall/Retrofit or Safety Notice. The defense asserted the subject jib stowage assembly sys- tem was a safe and reliable design used successfully in the field on over 10,000 cranes for 27 years, the bolts fractured from high-cycle fatigue because pltf’s employer and its crane subcontractor (Imperial Crane)were using the crane in an unforeseeable manner, the crane was improperly set up and operated, a 20,000-lb vibratory hammer was hung from the crane while it sat on a floating barge under a bridge with low clearance, and the vibratory hammer was acting erratically and shaking the crane violently for three days because K&S employ- ees failed to properly warm up the hammer in the cold weather. The defense further argued that none of the other incidents were substantially similar, Terex investigated those accidents and found other parties were at fault, and the sole proximate cause of this occurrence was the misconduct of K&S and Imperial. Defense counsel notes pltf was allowed to add a willful/wanton claim and re- quest punitive damages one month before trial. Several former co-defts settled out prior to trial for $5.9 million (see JVR’s SMMM f/19, Law Bulletin article July 15, 2019). Post-trial motions are pending.

Patrick P. Clyder Patrick is a partner in the Chicago, IL office of McGuireWoods LLP, a leading interna- tional law firm with more than 1,100 lawyers in 21 offices worldwide. He is a trial lawyer who counsels product manufacturers and distributors in complex personal injury and business disputes. While he spends the ma- jority of his time in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Patrick has represented clients in multiple state and federal courts across the United States. Manufacturers and distributors from a broad array of industries, including aircraft, construction equipment, fire sprinkler sys - tems, ladders, power tools, and transform- ers, have turned to Patrick to guide them through all stages of litigation, including tri- al. He also has successfully resolved mat- ters through dispositive motion, settlement, mediation and arbitration. Patrick values bono service and he is com- mitted to legal advocacy through his involve- ment with the Northern District of Illinois’ Trial Bar.

Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP is a nationally recognized litigation firm that successfully assists clients in virtually every industry by delivering the highest standards of legal services. Since its inception in 1992, the firm has grown to more than 140 attorneys in six locations. With over one thousand tried cases, the firm provides counseling and representation to many large corporations, prestigious institutions, business owners, and individuals in jurisdictions across the United States.


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