Settlement - Wrongful Death/Product Design Defect
James F. Best and Mathew K. Hargrave
James Best and Mathew Hargrave obtained a favorable settlement in favor of a design engineering firm that designed bicycle racks used by transit authorities throughout the country in a case where Plaintiff died after being run over by a transit bus while attempting to remove her bicycle from the front-mounted bicycle rack. While she was doing this, the driver of the bus accelerated running over Plaintiff and dragging her approximately 80-100 feet. Motorists and pedestrians who witnessed the incident had to alert the bus driver to stop the bus. Plaintiff was extricated from under the bus and transported to a hospital where she died six hours lars later from her injuries.
Plaintiff's Estate sued the transit authority and its bus operator. Following testimony from the operator where he claimed a sight obstruction caused by the bus's fare box, amended complaints were filed naming other defendants believed to be involved with the design, manufacturing, and installation of the front-mounted bicycle rack. BVH developed information in discovery that proved the design was not defective in any way, complied with the transit authority's specifications, and was approved by the transit authority. As a result, and while the design firm's Motion for Summary Judgment was pending, Plaintiff settled with it for less than 1% of the total settlement.