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Lightfoot’s Appellate Advocacy Leads to Ninth Circuit Dismissal for Techtronic Industries North America Inc.

April 9, 2024

Three Lightfoot, Franklin & White partners have secured a significant win before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, affirming the dismissal of a product liability lawsuit in Arizona against client Techtronic Industries North America Inc. The court also upheld a sanctions order against the plaintiff for failing to meet disclosure deadlines.

J. Chandler Bailey, Rachelle E. Sanchez and Christopher C. Yearout previously defended the multinational product manufacturer against multiple claims of strict liability and negligence over a severe hand injury sustained while using an electric leaf blower. The plaintiff claimed the product was defective, but the district court disagreed, dismissing the lawsuit for lack of evidence.

In its decision, the Ninth Circuit upheld the lower court with an opinion emphasizing the absence of concrete evidence and upholding sanctions for delayed discovery. The appellate panel found the plaintiff failed to demonstrate that the product was unreasonably dangerous, that there were manufacturing errors or that the defendants acted irresponsibly during the design or manufacturing process. 

This is a victory that underscores Lightfoot’s extensive experience defending complex product liability cases across the U.S. in various industries, including consumer goods, automobiles, medical devices and pharmaceuticals.

Bailey has more than 25 years of experience representing product manufacturers and suppliers around the country in high-stakes cases involving catastrophic injuries and wrongful death. He has served as national and regional trial counsel for several of the largest companies in the U.S. and is a member of the Product Liability Advisory Council.

Yearout represents clients in a broad range of practice areas, including product liability, catastrophic injury, medical malpractice, corporate recoveries and toxic torts. He has tried multiple high-exposure cases to verdict and has nationwide experience litigating complex matters.

Sanchez is a former criminal prosecutor who defends clients in a variety of cases in state and federal courts throughout the country. She regularly represents clients in cases involving wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injury, automotive litigation, healthcare and medical malpractice.

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