March 29, 2011
London Fischer congratulates Daniel Zemann, Jr. and Cynthia Fitzgerald in obtaining a defense verdict in Hudson County, New Jersey, in the matter Felicia Joe v. Polar Tank Trailer, et al. (Docket No. L-5924-07). Plaintiff, a truck driver, alleged serious injuries as a result of falling from the top of a tank trailer while preparing it for transport. She brought this action against the owner of the property on which her accident occurred, the owners of the tank trailers leased to her employer, and two manufacturers, claiming that the tank trailer’s ladder and handhold “access system” were defectively designed, making it impossible for her to have maintained “three-point contact” with the tank trailer at all times.
Polar proceeded to trial as the only remaining defendant, successfully moving to bifurcate the trial on liability and damages, and limiting the scope of Plaintiff’s claim to that involving a three-dome Polar tank trailer. During discovery, Plaintiff amended interrogatories and obtained expert reports opining on three different tank trailers that she may have fallen from. At trial on liability, Polar utilized key business records to demonstrate that there were no three-dome Polar tank trailers at the wash location where Plaintiff fell, and thus, Polar could not have manufactured the tank trailer from which she fell. Following a seven-day trial, the jury rendered a unanimous defense verdict.