Dallas Team Secures Defense Verdict in High-Exposure Products Liability Matter Involving Catastrophic Arm Amputation Injury

Dallas, Texas (May 24, 2023) – Dallas Managing Partner Christopher C. White and Partner Katherine Compton recently secured a defense verdict on behalf of Lewis Brisbois’ manufacturer client following a two-and-a-half-week trial in a products liability catastrophic injury matter. 

As a Law360 article on the matter explains, the plaintiff in this case sustained injuries when his arm became caught in an industrial grinder that he was using while clearing land in Montgomery County, Texas. After undergoing multiple surgeries, it became necessary for him to have his arm amputated. The plaintiff subsequently sued Lewis Brisbois’ client – the manufacturer of the grinder – alleging that a design defect in the machinery caused his injuries. The case ultimately proceeded to trial in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. 

At trial, 20 witnesses testified. Notably, while cross-examining the plaintiff’s reconstructive surgeon, Ms. Compton asked if the plaintiff’s injury would have been less severe if someone had stopped the conveyor belt on the grinder as soon as the plaintiff’s arm was caught. The surgeon replied, “It's very difficult to answer that question . . . but it's possible.”  

Following the trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Lewis Brisbois’ client, determining that there was no defect in the grinder. In a post-trial statement, Mr. White expressed gratitude for the judge and jury, noting, "We thank the jury for their hard work following the law and the evidence, and confirming the . . . grinder sold by our client is a safe product. . . . We also appreciate Judge [Alfred H.] Bennett's management of the trial in a fair and impartial manner so justice could prevail." 

Mr. White, who leads a catastrophic injury trial team at Lewis Brisbois, also serves as co-chair of the firm’s London Market Group and its Professional Liability Practice. He is frequently retained to try catastrophic casualty cases involving seven- and eight- figure demands. Mr. White is often hired at various stages of litigation, from the date of a severe accident up to 30 days before trial, when clients are looking to bolster or change their trial counsel. 

Ms. Compton is a member of Lewis Brisbois’ Complex Business & Commercial Litigation Practice. With extensive experience litigating complex commercial matters, including trademark infringement, class actions, and personal injury/wrongful death cases, she has successfully handled numerous trials on behalf of firm clients. 

Read the full Law360 article, titled “Grinder Maker Not Liable For Arm Amputation, Jury Says,” here (subscription may be required). 

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