Coterel v. Dorel Juvenile Group, Inc., No. 15-2353 (8th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
After plaintiffs' 23-month-old son, Jacob, drowned in a pond after climbing out of his crib and leaving their home in the middle of the night, plaintiffs filed a products liability and negligence suit against Dorel. Dorel denied that the doorknob cover it designed and manufactured was defective or unreasonably dangerous when used properly. The jury unanimously found Dorel was not liable for Jacob’s death and rendered a general verdict in Dorel’s favor. The court concluded that the district court did not err in admitting evidence that mother failed to secure the chain lock the night of Jacob’s death and father knew before that night that Jacob could defeat the doorknob cover. Even if the court accepted plaintiffs' alleged evidentiary errors for the purpose of argument, plaintiffs failed to establish how those errors prejudicially influenced the outcome of the trial. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.
Court Description: Riley, Author, with Loken and Benton, Circuit Judges] Civil case - Products Liability. In action alleging product liability and negligence arising from a child safety doorknob cover defendant designed and manufactured, the court rejects plaintiffs' argument that the district court erred in admitting evidence plaintiffs failed to secure a chain lock on the door on the night of the incident and that they knew before the death of their child that he could defeat the safety cover.