An apartment stove tipped over when a five-year-old boy stood on its open door while trying to reach a pot.
The pot of scalding water toppled off the stove, spilled onto the boy, and severely burned his groin and upper thighs. The landlord had ignored Philadelphia’s building code, which requires every apartment stove to be anchored to the floor at the back of the stove. The stove manufacturer violated the standards for the home appliance industry when it failed to provide essential safety information. Martin K. Brigham’s role as lead trial counsel for the boy in his claim against the landlord and the stove manufacturer was featured as a Spotlight case in ATLA’s Law Reporter.
Medical alert buttons are oftentimes used by the elderly and disabled to call for emergency assistance in case they have fallen. The buttons are usually attached to a lanyard, worn around the neck. When Carol, who was confined to a wheelchair, slipped out of her seat, the lanyard caught on the chair, resulting in her strangulation. Martin Brigham was asked by Carol’s family to investigate the safety of lanyards and soon learned that tragically, Carol’s death was only one of several caused by medical alert lanyards. These deaths could have all been prevented by incorporating a break-away fastener into the lanyard. Right after the federal court allowed Mr. Brigham to amend the Complaint so he could seek punitive damages, the case resolved.
A mother and her three children perished in a house fire which had initially been caused by a defective baseboard heater and within minutes had begun to consume the entire house.
Investigation led to the discovery that the rapidly spreading fire was due in large part to the lack of flame retardants in the living room sofa. The sofa was the first item ignited and evidence revealed that had the polyurethane foam stuffing been treated with flame retardants at a nominal cost the tragic loss of life could have been prevented. The manufacturer of the heater settled for confidential amount. Mark J. LeWinter served as lead counsel. Read More
Our firm represented the estate of a woman who was tragically killed in a head on motor vehicle accident. While the accident was caused by the negligence of the other driver, the airbag in our client’s vehicle failed to deploy, despite the direct impact of the collision, causing fatal injuries. Mark LeWinter and Amber Racine successfully developed the theory that the airbag’s components were faulty. In advance of mediation, our team created and presented a settlement video that truly depicted the tragic losses our clients suffered as a result of losing their wife/mother. As a result of the dedicated persistence of our team, mediation resulted in a significant settlement.
Concerned about theft, a family stored its propane gas grill in the kitchen when it was not being used. Just before a holiday, the home owner asked her daughter Marian to take the propane cylinder to be refilled. After trying to make sure that the cylinder valve was closed, Marian attempted to disconnect the hose. Unexpectedly, gas escaped, reached a source of ignition and exploded, severely burning Marian. Attorneys Roy DeCaro and Martin Brigham teamed up to represent Marian. They discovered that a safety device — a back check assembly — would have prevented the accident and had been recommended by the Consumer Product Safety Commission for more than a decade. Armed with the minutes from CPSC meetings at which the Defendants fought to delay the use of the safety device, DeCaro and Brigham earned the Court’s permission to seek punitive damages. A video settlement brochure, including a computer animation of the effectiveness of the safety device, facilitated a very successful confidential resolution for Marian.
Richard dove from a wooden deck into a backyard, aboveground swimming pool, not understanding its shallow depth. He struck his head on the bottom and was paralyzed. Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer sued the manufacturer of the pool liner on Richard’s behalf, because the liner had neither adequate depth markers nor warnings against diving. At trial, Roy DeCaro convinced a federal jury to return a $10,250,000 verdict in favor of our client. In response to the verdict, swimming pool manufacturers improved their warnings about the dangers of diving into these pools.
Jeanne, a school bus driver, was standing on a recreational motor boat, holding onto a plastic seat for support. When the driver and owner of the boat started the boat, the plastic chair released from its post. Jeanne was thrown in the water, where she suffered the amputation of her arm. Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer brought suit against the manufacturers of the boat, the seat, and its component parts for failing to have a proper securing mechanism on the seat. After a week of trial in Federal Court, a $3.3 million settlement was achieved for the client.
Nafis Jefferson was fatally shot by another child in a gun play accident who found a gun under a parked car in South Philadelphia.
The gun was traced to as gun dealer who had sold the handgun in a straw purchase under circumstances where the Dealer had “turned a blind eye” and had sold the gun which was then re-sold illegally. Mr. LeWinter co-counseled this case with Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Click here to read more about this case. Read More