Jury Awards $3.4 Million

Jury Awards $3.4 Million

There are 39 comments on the Hartford Courant story from Dec 8, 2007, titled Jury Awards $3.4 Million. In it, Hartford Courant reports that:

Jerry Crutchfield was doing carpentry work in the rafters of a Massachusetts church when the nail gun he was using "violently kicked back," forcing a 31 2-inch nail through his cheek and into his brain.

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MANSFIELD not Storrs

Morris, CT

#1 Dec 8, 2007
duh... "The jury found that Crutchfield was 55 percent liable for his injuries because he was firing the nail gun into metal rather than wood."

come on folks, let's take some responsibility for our actions!
Joe Middletown CT

Bristol, CT

#2 Dec 8, 2007
The jury deliberated for sixteen hours before coming up with a verdict.I'm sure they heard testimony that you and I weren't privy to,and scrutinized the aforementioned before making a decision.Even though Mr. Crutchfield was found 55 percent liable,that means the other parties involved were found 45 percent liable.One may think this is a frivilious lawsuit,however,this is the reason that we have trials by jury.
bob old lyme


#3 Dec 8, 2007
This is the reason liability insurance is so high. This should be appealed, Next time make sure the jurors have an IQ larger than their hat size
Electrocuted in CT

Old Lyme, CT

#4 Dec 8, 2007
Mr. Cruthfield was VERY fortunate to receive an award of this size for this type of accident.
I have used many types of nail guns and they are powerful tools. They can drive a fastner like the one showen thru a 6" piece of oak or maple like nothing, but metal? it could probably drive thru 1/16" plate, I wonder how thick the metal was? The long and short of it is that he was using the wrong tool. He should have been using a 'HILTI' tool to go thru metal, or the metal should have been pre-drilled, I'm sure this award is going to be reduced, it does not look like much more than a workers comp. accident. Maybe his employer should be held responsible for allowing short cuts. We'll see.

“Just a Hartford kid”

Since: Sep 07


#5 Dec 8, 2007
Electrocuted in CT is correct. Wrong tool, employer responsibilities, and user not qualified as demonstrated by his actions. The LDS Church should have been tapped for not ensuring that contractors use appropriate tools and have qualified personnel. Shame, but misuse of any tool can cause hurt. Money award will be decreased and that is reasonable.

East Longmeadow, MA

#6 Dec 8, 2007
Three tools in one story. I drive a truck. If I try to drive it through a median and hit a tree and hurt myself, does this mean I am only 55% liable? I've been driving for twenty years.... I am very sorry for your disabilities Mr. Crutchfield, but I don't think you should get a dime from the insurance company. You knew better.
Colchester Rez

Wallingford, CT

#7 Dec 8, 2007
What is this world coming to? This idiot tries to use a "wood spicific" tool to shoot into steel? Goes to show who the real tool is, and gets paid for it. Sad statement in this world, be stupid, get paid!

Broad Brook, CT

#8 Dec 8, 2007
Justice at its best.Remember, when someone gets hurt, someone MUST pay. Juries love deep pocket defendants. They can hit them without any remorse whether or not they caused the injury.

Broad Brook, CT

#9 Dec 8, 2007
lawyers...what a joke

Farmington, CT

#10 Dec 8, 2007
So, if I place the barrel of a shotgun against a concrete wall and pull the trigger, I should be able to get a settlement?? Too many lawsuits raise our insurance. Hope they reduce or dismiss in appeal.

Vernon Rockville, CT

#11 Dec 8, 2007
good ole lawyers making sure they get 40-65% of any settlement have raised the price once more for the general public buying stanley and or bostitch products. meanwhile also raising job quotes from tradesmen using their tools because they are the best tool for the job. courtroom professionals, and even people picked for jury duty have to realize humans make mistakes, but we all should not be made to pay for that. manufacturers do a remarkable job of making useful, safe, tools, but you cannot predict what an incompetent person can do with any product.
Matt from CT

United States

#12 Dec 8, 2007
>One may think this is a frivilious
>lawsuit,however,this is the reason
>that we have trials by jury.

Unfortunately, the Jury usually has it's hands tied by what the Judge tells them the law is.

If you have common and statutory laws that are screwed up, all the jury can do is apply the screwed up laws. Or in rare cases, take a stand and simply refuse to accede to the facts by the act of jury nullification. Nullification particularly difficult in civil cases since the standard of evidence and need for unanimous verdicts is less.

Don't laugh Tazman -- there are many lawyers out there for politics or profits that tried (and keep trying) to apply product liability laws to firearms. That if you take a firearm and hold it to your head and pull the trigger and it goes off and kills you, that obviously the tool was far too dangerous to produce.

That line of reasoning doesn't show that guns are dangerous -- it demonstrates how screwed up our legal system on product liability is that a sane lawyer can even consider making such an argument.
kjm in nh

United States

#13 Dec 8, 2007
You can fire nails into metal or concrete using a hilti or ramjet, but of course thats what there made for- 20yrs as a carpenter I don't think so-

Milford, CT

#14 Dec 8, 2007
ace wrote:
lawyers...what a joke
Ace are you sure that isn't asss.

Milford, CT

#15 Dec 8, 2007
tazman wrote:
So, if I place the barrel of a shotgun against a concrete wall and pull the trigger, I should be able to get a settlement?? Too many lawsuits raise our insurance. Hope they reduce or dismiss in appeal.
Please try it. We are all rooting for the wall.

Woodbury, CT

#16 Dec 8, 2007
don't blame the lawyers ... the jury is made up of your neighbors and mine - i don't know if they give them all some koolaid before these civil trials but how are these people finding companies responsible for this stuff ... 1 million because the coffee was too hot, the 140,000 to the guy (in east lyme) who got hit in the face with the softball @ third base and sued the bat maker & the umpire, this guy here fires a nail gun into a metal surface and GUESS WHAT ? the nail bounced off ... now i know what happened to him is sad but it sounds like the natural selection process at work to me ! can't some of these people just say - sorry you messed up and its not someone elses fault ... let me ask you ? if i threw rocks at a hornets nest and they came out and stung me - could i sue the homeowner for not removing this hazard from his yard ?

United States

#17 Dec 8, 2007
Crutchfield should not have been rewarded for misusing a nail gum on metal instead of wood.

West Hartford, CT

#18 Dec 8, 2007
Sounds like the guy was not trained properly on the use of the equipment. So his supevisor should be held liable for this mis-use of equipemnt. Why should all of society pay for this dumb act. The company he worked for is at fault not home depot or stanly.

Wallingford, CT

#19 Dec 8, 2007
Alex wrote:
Sounds like the guy was not trained properly on the use of the equipment.
But after "20 years as a carpenter" I'd find it hard to believe that he's been hammering in the nails all this time.

I completely agree with others, society - and our legal system - has all but eliminated personal responsibility. It's ridiculous.
bob parzych


#20 Dec 9, 2007
why did this moron and his ambulance chasing lawyer win an award for doing something incredibly stupid. How is Stanly Inc responsible for somebody that clearly used this nail gun wrong? How is Home Depot liable? Nail guns are not designed to shoot through steel.I dont know to many carpenters that havent shot themselves with a nail, they will all tell you that they were being careless at the time or moving to fast, myself included. What ever happened to taking responsibility for your own actions? I think the judje should be thrown out for even allowing this case into his courtroom.

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