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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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