Attorney David Kleinberg, from Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, PA was lead trial counsel in a six-week, products liability, marathon trial against Yamaha for selling a defective wave runner. Mr. Kleinberg’s trial team was able to prove: (a) that Yamaha knew of this design defect; (b) knew that many people were sustaining severe injuries due to the design defect; and (c) that Yamaha had the technology and capability (they owned actual patents!) to cheaply and effectively correct the design defect; but elected not to fix the problem that proximately caused catastrophic injuries to our client and the death of her best friend.
Below is an excerpt from Mr. Kleinberg himself:
The defense machine was relentless. While they forced our costs to approach one million, their fees and costs had to exceed four million. They dragged it out to be a true marathon of a trial, April 29 – June 10. Fortunately, from time to time, right defeats might. This is one of those times.
The case involved a beautiful 15 year old girl permitted to use her Uncle’s Yamaha Waverunner XL800 while at the Easter party at his WPB waterfront home. It was her first time as a driver of a [wave runner]. She took her 14 year-old best friend on the ride. The ride lasted less than 15 minutes. She was running parallel to a 31′ open ocean racing boat on her right. She made a right U-turn to head home. As she began the turn, she felt close to the [race] boat so let off the throttle to continue her U-turn at a lower speed. But the moment she did, the PWC lost all steering ability. This is the defect, off throttle steering (OTS).