Product liability sledding accident
Shelly and John Marcon recall feeling a profound sense of relief after a Hennepin County jury returned a favorable verdict and they received $9 million for a paralyzing injury their son Luke suffered while riding a popular plastic sled sold by the K-Mart Corporation. "We know now that no matter what Luke needs, we will be able to provide it for him. That's a tremendous burden lifted," said Shelly Marcon following the announcement of the verdict. "We also want other parents to know about the dangers of this type of sled. No parent should have to go through what we have."
Luke was 12-years-old when the sled he was riding hit a small bump on the hill. Instead of riding over the bump, the hard-plastic front edge dug in and flipped Luke forward onto his forehead. He is paralyzed from the neck down.
"As the father of three small children, it scares me to think that the sled manufacturer, Paris Manufacturing, and K-Mart could design and sell a sled without once thinking about safety," said Arthur C. Kosieradzki, Luke's attorney and a partner here at SiebenCarey. "Essentially, our children were used as crash-test dummies."
Engineering and design experts testified that the sled's design is inherently dangerous because the front-end's abrupt "tub-like" shape and sharp front tip is prone to digging into bumps and "catapulting the child forward, risking catastrophic injury with every ride."
"K-Mart doesn't sell the Paris sled today," said Kosieradzki. "But unfortunately there are a lot of these sleds and others like it still on the market and in the homes of thousands of American children," he said. "Maybe something good will come out of this devastating tragedy if other parents are warned of the danger of these sleds."