Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Mar 10, 2020

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A former New York construction worker who suffered severe injuries and was left completely blind after an accident was recently awarded $9.6 million for his injuries from a New York court’ nearly 20 years after the accident occurred.

Product liability case against a French manufacturer

According to news reports, this product liability case involved a machine gearbox made by a French manufacturing company. In the late 1990’s, Luc Allen was a construction worker installing fiber optic lines in New York. One day he was injured after the machine gearbox inadvertently swung around and hit him in the face. He suffered severe head and facial injuries and was left completely blind. Allen had to have several reconstructive surgeries and was hospitalized over and over again. Worst of all, he never regained his vision.

He sued the manufacturer of the gearbox, but because the product was made in France, it took years to establish jurisdiction. However, it was finally established and a New York court recently awarded him $9.6 million in damages for the injuries he sustained nearly 20 years ago. The damages he received were for lost wages, pain and suffering, future care expenses, future lost wages and future pain and suffering. The court also awarded his ex-wife damages for what she went through caring for Allen in the years immediately following the accident.

Experienced counsel makes all the difference

Allen obviously had experienced, and determined, counsel fighting for his rights. When dealing with cases involving international products liability, it’s important to realize that international laws can be very different than those in the United States. Depending upon which country you’re dealing with, establishing jurisdiction’ and then actually collecting the money’ can be a long and tedious process. An experienced New York personal injury attorney will be able determine whether you have a case and what obstacles you might face in dealing with a foreign defendant. Most personal injury attorneys provide a free, confidential consultation without obligation so you can evaluate your options before deciding to go any further. In addition, most products liability lawyers work on a contingency fee basis’ meaning that they don’t get paid unless and until they recover for you.