$675,000 – Cervical Herniation

Award Amount: $675,000

Location: Portland, Maine

Products Liability

Separated Tiller Handle

Amount of settlement: $675,000

Injuries alleged: Cervical herniation

Name of case: Percy v. Issaquah Development Company, Inc. et al.

Court/case#: State of Maine, Superior Court, No. CV-98-674

Tried before judge or jury: N/A (settled)

Amount of settlement: $675,000

Date: August 2000

Attorney for plaintiff: David F. Anderson and David J. Berg, Latti Associates, Boston

Attorney for defendant: Withheld
a

On April 29, 1996, the plaintiff sustained a cervical herniation resulting in incomplete quadriplegia while operating a small boat with Happy’s Handi-Mate Outboard Motor Extension Handle off the coast of Popham Beach, Maine. The plaintiff was unable to control the speed and direction of his boat because the Handi-Mate loosened after it was attached to the outboard motor hand. The plaintiff contended that the design of the Handi-Mate did not allow access to kill the switch for the motor. Due to this design defect, the plaintiff was unable to control the boat. Immediately prior to the accident, the plaintiff attempted to decrease his speed, but the Handi-Mate did not work. When the plaintiff looked back toward the motor to assess the problem, the plaintiff struck his head on a wooden timber attached to a pier off of Fort Baldwin.

The plaintiff alleged the Happy’s Handi-Mate Outboard Motor Extension Handle was defective, negligently designed and manufactures, and unreasonably dangerous.

The defendant contended the allegations that the Handi-Mate was defective and blamed the negligence of the plaintiff and his use of the product for the accident.

The case settled prior to trial for $675,000.