Stinson's Products Liability Team Achieved Successful Verdict for Maker of Bullet-Resistant Vest

Press Release

Stinson Partner Michelle Corrigan Erikson and attorney Renee Henson successfully defended their client, Safariland LLC, maker of law enforcement body armor, in product liability claims asserted against it in St. Louis, Missouri. A 12-person jury found that Safariland was not responsible for a former police officer's paralysis suffered when he was shot in the line of duty.

Plaintiffs brought a lawsuit, Michael Vernon v. Ed Roehr Safety Products and Safariland Group, LLC, in St. Louis County Circuit Court against Safariland on a product liability matter regarding a bullet-resistant vest, claiming negligence, failure to warn and design defects. In defense, Corrigan Erikson and Henson presented evidence that showed that the Safariland product met all industry standards, contained appropriate warnings for all potential hazards, and did not cause the injuries claimed by plaintiffs. After 90 minutes of deliberation, a St. Louis County jury ruled in favor of Safariland, rejecting the plaintiffs' claim that the product was defective and the cause of the officer's paralysis.

"A case like this is obviously very difficult. The plaintiff police officer was doing his job and unfortunately suffered this tragic injury in the line of duty," Corrigan Erikson said. "It's terrible, but I am confident that it was not our client's fault. Our client's product did not contribute to the officer's injury, nor could it have prevented his injury given the way he was shot."

Safariland, pleased with outcome of the trial, said that Corrigan Erikson and Henson were "great representatives" of the company. "In their work and trial presentation, they reflected our company's values, integrity, curiosity, excellence and servant leadership. I am truly grateful that we had such great people, not just great lawyers, as our public voice in the trial." 

Additional Stinson personnel involved in this matter include attorneys Alexander Barrett and Joyce Kim, paralegals Judy Bradley and Dianna Rodenburg, and eDiscovery and Practice Support consultant Robin Ferrell.

Corrigan Erikson has 25 years of experience in the area of product liability, including claims involving consumer products, children's products, and industrial products, as well as in general business litigation. She has successfully represented manufacturers and distributors of a wide range of products in litigation involving claims of personal injuries and property damages.  She also represents many clients in federal and state regulatory matters related to consumer products and children's products.

Henson focuses her practice on products liability litigation, complex commercial litigation, and intellectual property litigation. She works with a broad array of clients, including manufacturers, distributers, commercial liability insurers, industrial commodity merchandisers and private equity firms.

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