In a complex construction case, Jeff Lester recently convinced a jury to render a defendant’s verdict on behalf of his carpentry contractor client. The plaintiff, another employee on the construction project, sustained a severe eye injury after being struck by a nail shot from a nailgun by Jeff’s client. The plaintiff claimed permanent total disability and over $3,000,000 in actual damages.
The plaintiff’s alleged the defendant (1) failed to ensure the plaintiff was not in his “line of fire” and (2) “misfired” the nail, meaning that the nail missed the intended target on the lumber workpiece. Jeff put on extensive evidence that there was a latent defect in the lumber that was being worked on that resulted in an unforeseeable ricochet event. In addition, through the presentation of meticulous evidence Jeff was able to prove that plaintiff’s expert was basing his opinion on faulty assumptions as to how the actual incident occurred, undermining the plaintiff’s expert’s credibility. In addition, Jeff was able to use the physical evidence, including the fact that the 2X4” piece of lumber “blew out,” to demonstrate that the accident could not have occurred the way the plaintiff and his expert alleged. Jeff also focused the jury on the plaintiff’s failure to wear the required ANSI Z-87 safety glasses and utilized scientific testing and data regarding nail speeds and impact ratings to show that proper eye protection would have prevented the injury.
Throughout the case, Jeff emphasized his client’s extensive carpentry experience, professionalism, and knowledge in to persuade the jury that his client never would have committed the mistakes alleged by the plaintiff and plaintiff’s expert. Jeff prepared his client during numerous trial preparation sessions, and the results showed – Jeff’s client presented to the jury as relatable, credible, and competent. After deliberating for less than an hour, the jury came back with a complete defense verdict.