Michael J. Wiggins Obtained Defense Verdict for Stanley Access Technologies

January 2, 2019 03:24 PM
Michael J. Wiggins

IADC member Michael J. Wiggins and associate Colby Nicole Ferris of McDonald Toole Wiggins, Orlando, Florida obtained a defense verdict for Stanley Access Technologies, a division of Stanley Black & Decker, on December 12, 2018, in the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division.

This case stemmed from a fall sustained by an 89-year-old woman as she was exiting a Marshalls retail store in St. Petersburg, Florida in June 2016. The Plaintiff alleged that the automatic sliding door designed and manufactured by Stanley Access Technologies closed on her while she was exiting the store, causing her to suffer a femur fracture, which required surgical fixation. Surveillance video from the store was inconclusive regarding the cause of the fall.

The Plaintiff, who lived independently with her husband on St. Pete Beach prior to the fall, alleged that she was never able to walk again and was never able to return home. In closing, she asked the jury for a verdict just over $4.2 million. The jury deliberated for just over an hour and returned an 8-0 verdict for Stanley Access Technologies.

Stanley produced evidence that its door operated safely, was well maintained, and was not the cause of Plaintiff’s fall. In addition to showing that it provided complete, safe instructions for maintaining the door, it argued the door did not strike the Plaintiff; rather, she had a history of instability and failed to utilize her four-pronged walker, which caused her fall. 

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