9/24/2020: Chris Pearcy Wins Appeal in Major Products Liability Case.
After winning summary judgement in February 2019, and winning the appeal in April 2020, the Indiana Supreme Court denied transfer on September 24, 2020, effectively ending this case in favor Chris Pearcy's client, Pendu Manufacturing. In November of 2015, the Plaintiff was operating a Pendu Edging machine at a sawmill in Southern Indiana. The Plaintiff in this case was injured when he went to remove a piece of scrap wood from the machine before turning it off first, as he had been trained. The machine caught the Plaintiff's loose clothing, pulling him into the machine. The entire incident was caught on video. Plaintiff alleged the machine was defective and should have been guarded.
After extensive litigation, Chris filed a Motion for Summary Judgment seeking to dismiss Pendu. Chris argued that Plaintiff's failure to turn off the machine before reaching into it (combined with his other unsafe acts) constituted the complete defense of product "misuse" under the Products Liability Act. The Lawrence County Circuit Court Judge agreed, granting Chris's motion, and dismissing all claims against Pendu. Plaintiff appealed, but the Indiana Court of Appeals agreed that Plaintiff's claims were barred by the misuse defense. Plaintiff then sought transfer to the Indiana Supreme Court, but transfer was denied, upholding the rulings of the trial and appellate courts.
Chris Pearcy is a Partner with Hume Smith, and has been practicing law for over 16 years. His practice focuses on serious personal injury cases. Chris was the only attorney to win summary judgment for his client in the Indiana State Fair Stage Collapse litigation in the trial court. That ruling was appealed, and he won the appeal in the Indiana Appellate court, and then again in the Indiana Supreme Court. Chris can be reached at 317-632-4402.