Author Archives: Staci Williamson

Toaster on fire

When a Product Expert Has No Experience with Product Allegedly Causing Fire: A Recent Exclusion and Considerations

An Illinois federal district judge recently excluded certain testimony offered by a plaintiff’s expert in a product liability case. The ruling offers an opportunity to stay abreast of recent expert witness rulings and the viability of an argument routinely used by the defense — that the plaintiff’s expert lacks any experience with the specific product that allegedly caused the fire. Although a common argument, it can give rise to a number of case-specific considerations. The Case The recent case of Ostrinsky v. Black & Decker

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Federal Judge Denies Summary Judgment Even When Plaintiff’s Expert Admits He’s Not Offering Opinion that Defect in Product Caused Fire

On February 9, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana granted summary judgment, in part, to Lennox Industries, Inc. in a subrogation lawsuit based in product liability. In Cincinnati Ins. Co v. Lennox Indus., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15385, a fire occurred at the Howard residence. Repairs in the amount of $408,000 were paid for by the Howards’ insurance company, The Cincinnati Insurance Co. (CIC). CIC then sued Lennox claiming that electrical arcing between an air condensing unit’s (ACU) compressor…

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In The Eyes Of The Jury: The Power of the Public Official

investigatorsIn catastrophic injury cases, defense counsel are familiar with the first responder investigations conducted by local and state police and fire departments. At times, the opinions and conclusions of the police and fire officials are unfavorable to the defense and attorneys are “stuck” with these opinions throughout the case and must find a way to discount or neutralize these opinions. If their findings align with the defense’s theory, they are a powerful weapon for the defense. A recent case that went to the jury highlighted…

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