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Craig Sarner Wins Defense Verdict in Falling Garage Door Case
February 2, 2015

Bonner Kiernan’s Craig Sarner secured a defense verdict for a high-rise facility in an alleged falling garage door case. Plaintiff, who was a security guard at an office building, alleges that, while attempting to close a loading dock door, the door malfunctioned causing it to fall. During direct examination by his counsel, Plaintiff testified that the door only "brushed" against his left arm.  However, upon cross-examination by Mr. Sarner, Plaintiff admitted that he had previously reported that the door, which was over 1000 lbs, landed on his chest and left wrist, pinning him against the floor. Plaintiff also testified that, just before the door fell, he had moved to his right two-and-a-half feet.  His explanation for the door striking him at that distance was that the door "slid" over.  Plaintiff also tried to convince the jury that he had reported issues with the door during the week prior to the incident.  However, he was unable to substantiate such claims and two of his co-employees and the building engineer testified that they were unaware of any issues with the door. Accordingly, Plaintiff was unable to sway the jury that the Defendants were on "notice" of any issues concerning the door.  

Moreover, Plaintiff testified that, despite the 1000 lb. door allegedly pinning his chest and arm against the floor, he sustained no "objective" injuries, other than "subjective" complaints of pain.  Plaintiff's medical expert testified that Plaintiff sustained a 37% whole body permanent impairment.  On cross-examination, Plaintiff's medical expert conceded that all of the diagnostic tests were "normal". Defendants offered no expert medical testimony.

During his closing argument, Plaintiff's counsel requested that the jury award Plaintiff $250,000.  After 45 minutes of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the Defendants. 

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