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Goldberg Segalla Wins Summary Judgment for Laser Component Manufacturer in Product Liability Case

Case Study

Goldberg Segalla Wins Summary Judgment for Laser Component Manufacturer in Product Liability Case

Goldberg Segalla successfully defended one of the world’s leading manufacturers of medical device laser components in a products liability and negligence action that would have sought millions of dollars in damages. The case, which was argued in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, highlights Goldberg Segalla’s capability to defend market-leading manufacturers in cases involving serious injuries and potentially large exposures. Brian T. Stapleton of the firm’s Product Liability Practice Group led the Goldberg Segalla team, which included Neil A. Goldberg and Michael D. Shalhoub.

The plaintiff in this case was a technician who was severely electrocuted while repairing a laser machine in a Manhattan dentist’s office. He brought claims of design defect and manufacturing defect against our client, which produced the high-voltage power supply (HVPS) used in the machine. The plaintiff’s injury occurred while he was attempting to remove the HVPS from the laser, and he theorized that a pin connected to the HVPS came into contact with an unknown metal protrusion in the machine and caused his injury. His design defect claim argued that the pin should have been shielded, and his manufacturing defect claim argued that the defective element of the HVPS that triggered the error message to which he was responding created the need for his service call and therefore placed him in the zone of danger.

Following Brian’s oral arguments, the court granted our team’s motion for summary judgment on all the plaintiff’s claims, noting the plaintiff’s lack of evidence in the design defect claim and calling the plaintiff’s theory of causation “too attenuated to impose liability” in the manufacturing defect claim. The court issued its decision September 2, 2011.