Boyd & Jenerette Shareholder Robert E. Schrader, III, obtained a summary judgment on behalf of a national home improvement retailer in a product liability case. The plaintiff sat in a chair at a restaurant and the chair broke, then alleged injuries which resulted in two back fusion surgeries. The plaintiff sued the owner of the restaurant, the co-defendant, who claimed they bought the chair at the retailer. The Plaintiff filed suit against the retailer as well. The restaurant owner failed to adequately secure the chair knowing that litigation was likely and at that time, a hurricane came through and washed the chair away. Boyd & Jenerette moved for summary judgment on behalf of our client, based on the spoliation of evidence by the co-defendant.
The court agreed that our client’s ability to defend itself was substantially impaired and that therefore, at a minimum, the defendant should receive a presumption that the chair was not defective as to the plaintiff’s claim. The court also found a presumption in favor of the plaintiff that the chair was defective as to its claims against the co-defendant. However, by virtue to the two competing presumptions as between the plaintiff and defendant, the court agreed that the plaintiff’s claim against the defendant was untenable and that the plaintiff would thus proceed only against the restaurant owner.
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About Robert E. Schrader, III
Robert Schrader is a shareholder in the firm and has over 25 years of state and federal litigation experience. He concentrates his practice in the areas of general litigation and trial advocacy. He serves a diverse client base and maintains an active caseload throughout Florida in matters involving premises liability, general liability, automobile personal injury defense, trucking liability, negligent security, wrongful death, and products liability. Mr. Schrader has tried numerous jury and non-jury trials with excellent results and is committed to pursuing effective results for his clients.