Goldberg Segalla Wins Summary Judgment for Space Heater Manufacturer in $2 Million Product Liability Case February 19, 2014

Attorneys from Goldberg Segalla’s Chicago team won a major victory on February 19, 2014, in a $2 million-plus product liability/fire case in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas.

James W. Ozog, David J. O'Connell, Ryan Frierott, and Staci A. Williamson, members of the firm’s Product Liability Practice Group, represented the manufacturer of a space heater in this large fire subrogation/product liability case in which a historic theater in Fort Smith, Arkansas, burned down. The plaintiffs asserted that there was more than $770,000 in combined property loss and more than $1 million in business interruption losses, for a total loss of more than $2 million. The plaintiffs designated three experts to testify that the fire was caused by a defect in a space heater manufactured by our client.

Through deposition of the experts, a detailed brief, and a successful Daubert motion, the team convinced the district court judge to exclude the testimony of the plaintiff’s experts and grant summary judgment to our client.

Interestingly, the court relied heavily on a published opinion in another Arkansas case that Jim was involved in as lead counsel, another in which he won summary judgment and Daubert motions.

Goldberg Segalla launched its Chicago office in January with a group of renowned trial attorneys. The team expanded the firm’s diverse range of practice areas, while also bringing significant experience handling fire and product liability matters.