On November 10, 2015, a Charleston, West Virginia jury returned a unanimous verdict for defendant Dorel Juvenile Group, Inc., finding the company’s High Rise booster seat to be neither defective nor responsible for the death of a four-year-old child. Tragically, the child died from injuries sustained in a horrific, multiple-rollover accident that occurred on a snowy section of Kentucky interstate in 2009. Counsel for the minor’s estate argued that Dorel was responsible for the death because serious accidents do happen, and only seats with five-point internal harnesses should be offered for sale. Schiff Hardin’s lawyers showed that booster seats – including the High Rise – offer excellent protection, as demonstrated through testing, and that the child unfortunately was in the worst possible position in the vehicle during this crash. Each party presented multiple experts and fact witnesses over the course of a week and a half. Plaintiffs sought several million dollars in damages. After an hour and a half of deliberation, the jury unanimously agreed with Schiff Hardin, found for Dorel, and awarded no damages.
Dorel was represented at trial by Jonathan Judge and Matt Schiltz of Schiff Hardin, with able assistance from West Virginia co-counsel Hendrickson & Long.