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Worcester Jury Awards Massachusetts Teen $2.85 For Escalator Accident that Mangled His Hand

Massachusetts middle school student Kevin Lou, 13, was awarded $2.85 million in Worcester Superior Court for the escalator accident that mangled his right hand nine years ago. Kevin and his family filed the personal injury lawsuit against Otis Elevator Co, the U.S. company whose name was on the escalator that caused his injury. The escalator was manufactured in China.

Kevin doesn’t remember the accident that occurred while he was in China visiting his grandmother. Since then, however, he has had to endure five surgeries to save his hand. He will need more surgeries to hopefully regain full use of his hands.

In 1998, Kevin and his grandmother were at a department store in China. While riding the elevator down to the second floor, he fell. His hand slipped into the opening between the stationary side panels and the moving escalator. The next escalator step that hit his stuck hand caused the injury.

The Worcester jury awarded Kevin $2.85 million. His parents were awarded $250,000 each. Following the verdict, Kevin’s father, Jidong, says he will start looking for a microsurgeon who specializes in hands.

Prior to the injury accident, Kevin was right-handed. Now, he can only use his right hand with the help of his left. He is unable to bend his fingers or pick up objects.

Manufacturers are supposed to make sure that the products that they produce are safe for use. If a person is injured because a product manufactured by a company is dangerous or defective, the injured party may have grounds to file a products liability claim or lawsuit.

There are three kinds of products liability cases:

Strict Liability: Lets a plaintiff recover compensation for an injury caused by a defective product just by proving that the manufacturer made or sold the product that injured him or her.

Negligence: Plaintiff must prove that the manufacturer owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, the manufacturer breached that duty, and that this negligence injured the plaintiff.

Breach of Warranty: The defendant failed to properly warn the plaintiff of the potential dangers of using the product.

Worcester teen awarded $2.85m after escalator accident, Boston Herald.com, December 22, 2007
Jury awards $2.85M to child, Telegram.com, December 22, 2007
Related Web Resources:

Products Liability Overview, Justia
OTIS