The award totaled a staggering $157 million. Carol Simonton had been seeking compensation for the $6000 funeral bill she incurred following her husband's death, together for $1.5 million that represented the loss of his wages over what would have been his lifetime.
Carol Simonton got a lot more than that—about $155 million more than she bargained for.
Her legal team obviously thought she deserved more after her husband was hanged and strangled to death after becoming entangled in the safety cord of a tree stand. The cord was designed to prevent injury in a fall.
Simonton did, indeed fall. However the cord proved to be responsible for the man's death.
The tree stand is used by deer hunters. Simonton's widow filed suit against a series of defendants in February 2006 alleging the wrongful death of her husband from a defective product. However, none of the potential defendant companies—L&L Enterprises of Hattiesburg Miss., Ol' Man Tree Stands of Jay, Fla. and TSR Inc. of Pace, Fla.—bothered to show up for the trial.
In fact, not only did the defendant companies not bother to respond to the lawsuit, TSR Inc. reportedly waited more than a year after Simonton's death before launching a recall of the Ol' Man Tree Stands together with 500 sets of potentially defective replacement pins. A total of 9000 tree stands were recalled.
At the conclusion of a trial held at Tippercanoe Superior Court 1 in Lafayette, Indiana the jury took only an hour to reach the default judgment of $157 million.
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Timothy Simonton's age was not revealed, or whether or not the couple had any children. However, attorneys close to the case point out that the case and the award are yet additional examples of the contempt society in general hold for defective products. This defective product personal injury case also succeeded in prompting the manufacturer to rid the market of a potentially dangerous product. If you have been negatively impacted by a defective product, a defective products injury attorney can help right that wrong and see that you are justly compensated.