PHMY partner, Tony Avey successfully argued to San Antonio Federal Judge Xavier Rodriguez that Dorel Juvenile Group deserved judgment as a matter of law at the end of Plaintiff’s case. Plaintiff alleged his Cosco ladder’s feet were defectively designed, causing him to fall off the ladder and suffer serious injuries. However, during three days of trial, Plaintiff failed to offer a safer alternative design. Plaintiff’s expert testified to various elements of a design which could be incorporated into the ladder. Avey successfully argued that by merely listing elements rather than a complete design, the expert’s testimony did not meet the threshold for safer alternative design as required by Texas law.
Judge Rodriguez, who had never granted a Directed Verdict in a civil case before, agreed with Avey and granted Dorel’s motion. Since all of Plaintiff’s claims rested on the design defect allegation, the Court’s ruling ended the trial and resulted in a judgment for the defense.