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Trial Victory in Defense of a Carbon Arrow

October 23, 2015

Clark Hill PLC's product liability team won another victory for the hunting industry in a jury trial in Federal Court in Cleveland, Ohio. The case involved a suit against a distributor of archery products. The Plaintiff demanded close to a million dollars for an injury he suffered when a carbon arrow shattered during target practice and struck his hand. Clark Hill's trial team of Barry Sutton and Stephanie Anderson spearheaded the defense which ended in both the dismissal of multiple claims (including failure to warn and design defect claims) in summary judgment, and a quick jury verdict in favor of the Defendant on the remaining claims.

Clark Hill's team demonstrated their expertise and experience in the industry by developing a strong defense for the claims against the Defendant. In this instance, the Plaintiff argued that the carbon arrow was defectively manufactured, claiming that the manufacturing process was not properly controlled leading to impurities and weaknesses of the arrow. The Plaintiff presented a materials expert to address this issue. Clark Hill was successful in cross examining the expert at trial and in countering his microscopic analysis of the purported defect. The team presented metallurgical and mechanical engineering experts that rebutted the Plaintiff's expert's opinion and demonstrated that the accident was the result of pre-existing damage to the arrow shaft and was not the result of any alleged defect in the carbon arrow.

The jury returned a quick verdict in favor of the Defendant finding no defect in the carbon arrow. This verdict, which followed summary judgment of all design and warning claims that were filed by the Plaintiff, vindicated the manufacture, production and distribution of the product.

Clark Hill's national counsel continues to help manufacturers and distributors of products defend themselves against often spurious claims. The firm's product liability and defense team specializes in hunting, firearms, outdoor and recreational products and is specifically tailored to defend these types of claims and other claims involving outdoor and recreational products. In addition, Clark Hill's experienced team works with manufacturers and distributors to help avoid claims before they ever happen by reviewing marketing, packaging and other product material, and in working directly with the engineers and product designers to alleviate certain risks. If you have any questions or inquiries about your products, the warnings on your products, or the defense of them, do not hesitate to contact Clark Hill's team.

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