Fulton County Jury Awards $2.7M Verdict in Fatal Motorcycle Accident

15 May, 2015, 11:03 ET from Elk & Elk

WAUSEON, Ohio, May 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- A Fulton County jury has awarded the family of a Cecil, Ohio man and his surviving spouse $2.7 million as a result of a fatal trike accident in 2011 on State Route 18, in Defiance County's Mark Township.

"The jury got it right," said Gary Cowan, a Cleveland attorney and one of two lawyers who represented the plaintiffs. "In cases like this one, it is important to send a message to companies who place profit over safety."

On May 8, 2011, James "Jim" Worman (63) and his wife Pamela (45) were riding his 1973 Honda Trike on Route 18 when the right rear axle broke. The motorcycle careened off the road and violently struck a ditch, catapulting the couple into the air, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Mr. Worman suffered extensive injuries that left him paralyzed from the chest down. He died 40 days later. Mrs. Worman suffered multiple fractures to her legs, arms and ribs and needed five surgeries.

Mr. Worman purchased the axle for his three-wheel motorcycle from Hart's Machine Service, Inc. The company did not have the part, but told Mr. Worman it could have the part made for him. Instead of contacting a reputable manufacturer, Hart's contracted with an individual who owed money to the company. The man worked out of his garage and did not have insurance.

Pamela Worman and Mr. Worman's heirs, represented by Gary Cowan and Kimberly Young of Elk & Elk Co., Ltd., filed the lawsuit in 2012. At trial, they presented evidence that the axle was not heat-treated or induction-hardened, in violation of industry standards.

On May 6, 2015, a Fulton County jury found Hart's Machine Service was liable for selling a substandard part that was not safe for its intended use. The jury awarded Pamela Worman $1.33 million in compensatory damages, and returned a $1.42 million verdict for James Worman's survivorship and wrongful death claims. The $2.7 million award represents the largest jury verdict in Fulton County history.

"Although no amount can bring him back, we are grateful we had someone on our side, fighting for Dad," said Jim Worman's daughter, Jamie Derringer. "With Elk & Elk, we didn't feel like clients; we felt like family."

The case is Carl Wright, etc., et al. v. Hart's Machine Services, Inc., et al. (Case #12CV000314).

About Elk & Elk

The Elk & Elk® personal injury law firm represents clients in cases throughout Ohio. The firm has 19 trial attorneys with experience in motor vehicle collisions, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, defective products, work place accidents, and premises liability. Elk & Elk Co., Ltd. has offices located at 6105 Parkland Boulevard, Mayfield Heights, Ohio 44124 and locations throughout Ohio, including Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Akron, Canton, Dayton, Toledo, and Youngstown, as well as Kentucky and Washington. For more information, visit www.elkandelk.com.

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