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Product Liability Law

Would-Be Client Wins $2.2M Verdict in Law Office Chair-Collapse Case

Posted May 7, 2009 6:29 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Robert Friedrich went to Fetterman & Associates in 2003 seeking representation in an auto accident case. But after his chair collapsed in a conference room at the North Palm Beach, Fla., law firm he wound up with a new tort claim.

A Palm Beach County jury yesterday awarded Friedrich and his wife a little over $2.2 million in the chair-collapse case, apportioning 67.5 percent of the liability to the furniture store that sold the chair to the firm in 1998 and 32.5 percent to Fetterman, reports a local ABC News affiliate, WPBF.

The jury also found that the auto accident caused 25 percent of the injuries at issue, reports a local NBC affiliate, WPTV.

Friedrich struck his head on another piece of furniture in the conference room as he fell backwards from the chair, resulting in medical bills of more than $200,000 and the loss of his job of 16 years, according to the two stations.

"The man sat in a defective chair. The manufacturer should have been responsible for it entirely," says the law firm in a written statement provided to WPBF.

The articles don't include any comment from the furniture store.

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