Barnhard V. Cybex International, Inc.

In: Other Topics

Submitted By ashleylfbrown
Words 578
Pages 3
Natalie M. Barnhard v. Cybex International, Inc

Background: In October, 2004, Natalie Barnhard, a physical therapy assistant, was overseeing a patient’s therapy. During the task, Barnhard placed her right hand on a leg-extension machine’s weight stack frame a started to rotate her torso to strech her right shoulder. The machine tipped and fractured two vertebrae upon striking her neck.

Barnhard’s fractured vertebrae rendered her a quadriplegic. She no longer has control of her bowels or bladder, requires round the clock care, and rendered her unable to start the massage therapy practice she was in the process of founding. According to medical experts, Barnhard’s life expectancy was shortened to 64 years or less.

Barnhard sued the machine manufacturer, Cybex International, alleging the product was defectively designed. Cybex alleged that Barnhard’s employer, Amherst Orthopedic, was negligent in its installation of the device. Barnhard and Amherst contended that Cybex should have warned users that only 40 pounds of horizontal force was needed to cause the machine to tip. Cybex expert witnesses countered that Barnhard had to have been engaging in inappropriate conduct and caused the machine to tip because of Amherst failing to properly train Barnhard.

Barnhard’s suit is for $28.9 million in estimated future medical costs, $1.69 million in past medical expenses, $8 million in damages for future care of children, lost earnings, and past pain and suffering, as well as $25 million in damages for future pain and suffering.

Issue: Did Cybex fail in its duty to properly warn users of potential hazards and safety concerns in relation to its product?

Rule: Product Warning Label Laws
Both the FDA and ANSI have strict requirements for product warnings. Any item that could potentially cause harm in anyway must have adequate and proper product warning labels.…...

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