A Jackson County jury awarded a 37-year-old mechanic $2.25 in a product liability case. Kevin Knifong was blinded in one eye when a battery exploded as he was trying to fix a stalled front-loader.
“This explosion occurred because of a very poor design,” said attorney Grant L. Davis, of Davis, Bethune & Jones. “Even their expert agreed it was a design he had never seen before, and he had been in the industry forever.”
The explosion was likely caused by a spark from the battery terminals igniting the hydrogen gas produced as a natural result of the chemical reactions in the battery. “It doesn’t really matter where it came from,” Davis said. “It could have been from a guy on the tractor turning a key. The point is, it’s a reasonably anticipated use for the battery to be around sparks. It’s supposed to be able to survive sparks without exploding.”
Although Knifong suffered a loss in future wages as a result of his injuries, the damages in the case centered on his loss of quality of life. “This is a guy who, if you toss him his keys, he can’t even catch them. He certainly can’t hunt anymore, or rope horses, or pass and shoot in basketball. And he’s become a poor driver, too. He runs off the road, and he can’t pass a Department of Transportation physical for his commercial driver’s license. This case has profoundly changed his life.”
Please call Davis, Bethune & Jones today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.