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Products Liability/Negligence

July 19, 2010
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Trial Report

Jonathan M. Hinsey v.  Better Built Dry Kilns, Inc. and DeNardi, s.r.l., a/k/a Nardi Group and Nardi Partecipazioni, s.r.l.

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, No. 1:08-CV-0114

Injuries: Third-degree burns over 40 percent of body

Date: to be tried in 2010

Disposition: Settled for policy limits of $1 million prior to mediation

Plaintiff Attorney: Cory Brundage, Cory Brundage LLC, Indianapolis

Defendant Attorney: Matthew Shipman, Bloom Gates Sigler & Whiteleather, Columbia City

Insurance: American Resources Insurance Co.,

Case Information: Plaintiff fell into a pit of superheated water built into the floor of a lumber steamer, sustaining burns to his feet, legs, abdomen, and arms.
The steamer was manufactured by Nardi, an Italian manufacturer and sold to plaintiff’s employer by Better Dry Kilns, which assisted in the construction. Service could not be obtained on the Italian company, which had gone bankrupt, making Better Built liable as the manufacturer under Indiana’s products liability statute.

Strategic challenges included potential fault allocations against Nardi, the plaintiff’s employer, and the plaintiff, all of which would be uncollectible and an enormous workmen’s compensation lien for disability and medical payments. Ultimately, Better Built’s carrier paid plaintiff’s policy limits demand of $1 million, and the lien holder accepted a drastic reduction to 16 percent of its total lien. Defendant’s attorney Matthew Shipman was professional in his handling of the matter and cooperated with plaintiff’s attorney to create a structured settlement that will pay benefits to the plaintiff for life.
Cory Brundage

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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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