Massachusetts Appeals Court Affirms Child Accident Verdict For 3.35M

The Massachusetts (MA) Supreme Judicial Court in a groundbreaking decision adopted portions of the “apparent manufacturer” doctrine from the Restatement of Torts. The Court affirmed the 3.35 million MA Superior Court elevator accident verdict in favor of a Four Year old child who was injured on a defective elevator.

The accident occurred in China on an elevator which bore the Otis Elevator name. The elevator was not manufactured or sold by Otis Elevator. The trial judge in the Lower Court ruled that it was not required that Otis Elevator sold or manufactured the defective elevator trademark because Otis permitted its trademark on the elevator through a license.

The Mass Appeals Court ruled : “For the reasons that follow, we accordingly conclude that there was no error in the instruction by the trial judge in the present case that a nonseller trademark licensor who participates substantially in the design, manufacture, or distribution of the licensee’s products may be held liable under Massachusetts law as an apparent manufacturer.”

Read the Appeals  Court of Massachusetts Decision

Key facts set forth by Appeals Court of MA:

“In October 1998, while traveling with his parents to visit his grandparents in the People’s Republic of China, then-four year old Kevin Lou (a resident of Worcester County) was injured after catching his hand between the skirt panel and treads of an escalator in the Changzhou Tianyuan Department Store. The escalator was manufactured and sold by China Tianjin Otis Elevator Company, Ltd. (CTOEC), under license from the defendant, Otis Elevator Company (Otis).”

“While descending an Otis E510 escalator with his grandmother in the Changzhou Tianyuan Department Store, Kevin’s hand became trapped between the skirt panel and step tread of the escalator. As a result, Kevin was dragged a considerable distance down the escalator; his hand was almost completely severed at the mid-palm, and he has suffered a permanent thirty-one percent whole-body impairment.

Post by Massachusetts Personal Injury Lawyer and MA Auto Accident Attorney, David Slepkow 401-437-1100

Defective Products, Product Liability, Massachusetts Product Liability, Dangerous Products, Boston Ma

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