Plaintiffs Fall Down Hard in Two Cases Against Louisville Ladder

Two plaintiffs lost products liability cases against Louisville Ladder.  

In Bielskis v. Louisville Ladder, Inc.,  No 10-1194 (7th Cir. Nov. 18, 2011) the appellate court upheld the disqualification of plaintiff’s liability expert, Neil J. Mizen.   Bielskis was injured while using Louisville Ladder mini-scaffold (model number SM 1404) and alleged a defect to a rolling castor on the device.

The trial judge refused to permit Mizen to testify after a Daubert challenge from the defense and granted summary judgment for the defendant.  The Seventh Circuit affirmed, and said that without expert testimony, Plaintiff, who

owned the scaffold for seven years at the time of the accident, and [ ] advanced no particular evidence about  its  condition when  it  was  received  from  the manufacturer. Thus , Bielskis    has   not   marshaled  sufficient evidence  that   the   mini-scaffold was defective at   the time it left Louisville Ladder’s control. Without evidence that  the mini-scaffold was defective at  the outset or  that it   was  free  in  the 7-year  interim period  from any abnormal use, Bielskis needs more than the  failure  of the caster stem to prove his case.   And with no  expert testimony, he lacks evidence to support  his product liability  allegations  of  strict liability  and negligence.
[Citation omitted.]   
 
The second victory for Louisville Ladder came from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Cannioto v. Louisville Ladder, Inc., No. 11-12885 (Nov. 18, 2011).  Once again, the plaintiffs’ expert, Charles E. Benedict, Ph.D, was excluded as a witness.
 
November 18, 2011 was a very good day for Louisville Ladder.