Mark Boyle participated as a member of the two-person trial team for an auto manufacturer sued in Outagamie County, Wisconsin, for enhanced injuries resulting from an alleged roof design defect that left the 61 year-old plaintiff paralyzed from a t-5 compression fracture. The plaintiff was a belted right front passenger in a converted van involved in a one and a quarter rollover that significantly deformed the roof at the passenger side a-pillar and b-pillar above his seated location. Plaintiff contacted the roof and fractured his cervical spine and then his thoracic spine leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. His wife presented a claim for loss of consortium and for the care she now has to provide her husband. Despite this tragic outcome, the defense was able to show that the passenger side roof-to-ground impact was extremely severe, the roof design met all the company’s internal strength requirements, and no roof design in the relevant time frame would have prevented an occupant at that seated location from impacting the roof with injurious force. The jury also entered a defense verdict for the conversion company. The trial lasted nearly a month.
Outcome: Verdict for the Defense