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The Appellate Division of State Supreme Court has Upheld a Landmark 2010 Products Liability Verdict Which Found Cybex International Responsible for Catastrophic Injuries Suffered by a Cheektowaga Woman
Date:11/18/2011

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Nov. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Phillips Lytle LLP, one of the region's best known law firms, announced today the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court in Rochester, upheld a high-profile products liability verdict against international fitness equipment manufacturer, Cybex International.

In its decision, the Fourth Department judicial panel found Cybex liable for the accident which left Natalie Barnhard, of Cheektowaga, NY a quadriplegic.  In making its findings, the panel wrote, "Contrary to the contention of Cybex on its appeal, we conclude that a fair interpretation of the evidence supports the jury's verdict that Cybex was negligent and that its negligence was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff's injuries."

"On the liability side, the decision rejected each and every attack that was made by Cybex. The panel affirmed that the jury correctly recognized the substantial evidence we brought forth regarding the role of Cybex in this tragic accident," said Kevin English, a partner in Phillips Lytle's Buffalo office.

On December 7, 2010, a jury found Cybex liable and awarded Ms. Barnhard $65.9 million in damages, following an eight-week trial before 8th District State Supreme Court Justice Diane Y. Devlin.  While the appellate panel today reduced the damage award to $45.2 million, it remains the highest personal injury award ever to come out of an Erie County courtroom.

"Even with the reduction, the amount of this verdict really recognizes the harm to this young lady. Regretfully, most of the money is going to be needed for her 24 hour a day care for the rest of her life.  The bulk of the award, which the Fourth Department let stand for Natalie's future medical expenses," said Michael Law, a partner from Phillips Lytle's Rochester office.

In its decision, the panel reduced the original jury award for past pain and suffering from $8 million to $3 million; future pain and suffering from $2
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SOURCE Phillips Lytle LLP
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