Product defect; Broken wheel on wheelchair: multiple parties at fault
Author: Attorney Dennis Schaefer
Our client is a disabled senior citizen who was forced to use a wheel chair for any distance walking. In our case, our client was attempting to get to his car. He was sitting in the wheel chair, using the large wheels to propel him forward. He was on a flat surface heading towards his car. Without warning, the left front hard rubber wheel split in half. This caused the wheel chair to become unbalance, and resulted in our client falling out the chair and smashing his left shoulder into the sidewalk.
Our client had left his rehabilitation facility several months prior with several pieces of equipment. The wheel chair that broke was one such piece of equipment. At no time was the wheel chair abused or used for any purpose other than the purpose for which it was intended. At no time prior to the wheel chair malfunctioning was there any notice of a problem. At no time during our clients possession of the wheel chair did a representative of the rehabilitation center, medical supply company or the manufacturer of the wheel chair ever inspect the wheelchair. At no time were any instruction given to our client to inspect, exchange or cause to be inspected the wheel chair that broke.
Our clients fall fractured his left shoulder, in addition to other less serious injuries. This case is one where there are several potential parties who might be at fault. The rehabilitation center might not have inspected product properly. The medical supply company might have not followed up sufficiently on its rented products to keep current on there state of repair and safety. The manufacturer might not have constructed the wheelchair properly. All of these possibilities exist. Dell & Schaefer will explore every avenue possible to assist our clients.
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