It appears that the Florida law firm of Fetterman & Associates not only litigates but spontaneously creates personal injury cases. Robert and Heather Friedrich went to the law firm in search of recovery for injuries from an accident — they found it, albeit for injuries in the law firm itself when Robert sat in a defective chair. A jury has awarded the couple more than $2 million for the injury.
Robert and Heather were seeking representation for injuries from a car accident when they went to the law firm. The chair’s failure caused Robert to fall backwards and hit his head — causing him medical bills of more than $200,000 and the loss of his job.
The jury in this comparative negligence state 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.
The chair was purchased from Brandon Home Furnishings in January 1998 and was defectively manufactured according to the jury.
On its website, Fetterman proclaims:
Fetterman and Associates, the Law Team, has been helping people with legal problems for more than thirty years. We seek justice for people who have suffered from the negligence of others, or who have been deprived of their rights or property by insurance companies or big business. Our focus is protecting the rights of injured people and their families.
Of course, sometimes it is not the negligence of others that brings cases to the firm. At times, a predator can become prey in the world of personal injury law.
In defense of the firm, however, I fail to see how the firm is responsible for a defectively manufactured chair unless there was some warning or overt weakness. Perhaps such evidence was introduced. Otherwise, it is a bit of a harsh burden for offices to be responsible for latent defects in chairs.
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8 thoughts on “Full-Service Firm: Jury Awards Over $2 Million for Client Injured by Defective Chair in Personal Injury Law Firm”
The litigation environment in Florida is terrible. My former employer owned a few nursing homes there and basically had to leave the state. The award here is ridiculous, but unfortunately this kind of thing is pretty common there.
From the artcle:
“The jury in this comparative negligence state 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”.
Having spent about twenty years in the office furniture/interior design business in roughly the same transactional position in the supply chain as Brandon Home Furnishings, I’m at a loss as to how either the selling organization or the end user would be at all responsible, let alone to ignore any chair manufacturer responsibility.
The chair is 11 years old! How does the seller, Brandon, bear ANY responsibility? One could conceivably argued that the law firm a) should have been aware of any faultiness in the chair as they’ve owned it for 11 years and that they should have had repairs if there were any visible or known problems orb) the manufacturer made a faulty chair–though manufacturers’ warranties are generally only for 3-12 months. But how does the furniture dealer get 67.5% of the damages? It’s outrageous on many levels.
Down here in Florida almost every other ad on local TV is for a personal injury law firm. Given the cost of these ads I would think this is a very litigious state. I believe strongly in the importance of tort law, but somehow the blatant advertising of some of these firms just seems downright sleazy.
Fetterman is a big advertiser.
I’m fairly unclear how a defect in manufacturing makes the firm in any way liable. Could you think of the ridiculous amount of checking and testing any company would have to do to make certain every chair, desk, pencil and stapler they purchase was manufactured correctly? Seems a bit unreasonable.
Hey, I want to know did they sign them up for the Automobile Accident? And do they get a fee for this victory? Seems only right. There should be a referral fee for them somewhere in this. That is to say the least. But for them, they would not have had a leg to stand on.
Maybe they should see where GWLS gets their chairs from – kid safe and endorsed!
NOOOOOOO—–Not the swively chairs. This can’t be!
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