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Case #4048 Paraplegia Resulting From Product Liability


The Plaintiff’s family went into the Defendant building supply company for the purpose of buying a rope.  It is alleged that the Plaintiff’s family explained the intended use for the rope.  Specifically, it was explained that the rope was to be utilized for a rope swing in the backyard.  Additionally, the Defendants were advised in a detailed manner, the intended method of swing construction including the fact that the rope would be knotted, suspended from a tree, have a swing seat, and would be required to safely hold a full-sized adult weighing approximately 160 pounds or more.

After learning the specifics, Defendants approached a spool of rope and advised the Plaintiff’s family that the rope being proposed by the Defendants was safe for its intended purpose — to build the rope swing as described hereinabove.  Relying on the advice of the Defendants, the Plaintiff’s family purchased 100 feet of the rope selected by Defendants and took it home.

It is alleged that the Plaintiff’s family constructed the swing in exactly the manner they described to the Defendants, utilizing the tree they had previously described, knotting the rope in the manner described, and affixing the seat as described.

Subsequently, the Plaintiff was utilizing the swing.  The rope suddenly broke as the Plaintiff reached the peak of the swing, approximately 15-20 feet above ground.  When the rope broke with no warning whatsoever, the momentum of the swing catapulted the Plaintiff into a free fall to the ground below.

Immediately after the Plaintiff fell, paramedics were contacted and the Plaintiff was flown to a trauma hospital.  The impact resulted in five crushed vertebraes, damage to disc material, a collapsed lung, fractured ribs, swelling of the brain, significant internal bleeding, and other injuries that ultimately left the Plaintiff paralyzed.  As a result, the Plaintiff is paralyzed and will so remain for the rest of his life.  He has lost all bowel, bladder and sexual function and is confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

As alleged, had the Defendants not been liable for ordinary negligence and product liability negligence, the Plaintiff would not have been injured and would have gone on to live a normal and healthy life with no need for extensive daily assistance and no permanent paraplegia.

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