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Cawley v. Eastman Outdoors, Inc.

United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio

October 17, 2014, Decided; October 17, 2014, Filed

CASE NO. 1:14-CV-00310

Opinion

OPINION & ORDER

[Resolving Doc. 23

JAMES S. GWIN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE:

On October 8, 2012, Plaintiff Trevor Cawley was injured by an allegedly defective arrow distributed by Defendant Eastman Outdoors, Inc. Defendant moves for summary judgment.1 In support of the motion, Defendant primarily argues that Plaintiff has not shown that the arrow had any defect that was the proximate cause of Plaintiff's injury. Defendant further argues that Plaintiff has no facts to support his claim for punitive damages, and that in any case damages should be subject to a statutory cap. Plaintiff opposes.2

For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN PART Defendant's motion.

I. Background

A. Plaintiff's Injury and Recovery

On October 8, 2012, Plaintiff Trevor Cawley was injured while practicing archery with a friend in North Ridgeville, Ohio.3 Plaintiff was shooting Wolverine [*2]  6070 carbon fiber arrows that he had bought in 2010 and fired on a weekly basis for approximately two years.4 The arrows had been manufactured by Shin Kwang Corporation, a South Korean company. Defendant Eastman Outdoors, Inc. distributed the arrows in the United States.5 One of the arrows shattered upon release and pierced Plaintiff's left hand and thumb.6

Plaintiff Cawley immediately sought medical attention at a nearby emergency room.7 Dr. Stephen Evans, a hand and microsurgery specialist, removed the arrow from Plaintiff's hand, along with several large carbon fibers that had splintered from the shaft.8 A few days later, Dr. Evans performed a follow-up surgery to remove additional "hundreds of pieces of these splintered carbon fiber arrow fragments" and to repair damage to Plaintiff's ligaments and tendons.9

According to Dr. Evans, Plaintiff has since "healed quite well, given the significant nature and location of his injury."10 Plaintiff has been able to return to work as a petty officer in the United States Coast Guard, which includes manual work such as tying rope lines.11 Nevertheless, Plaintiff has lasting injuries [*3]  to his hand, including a scar, decreased range of motion, diminished grip strength, and ongoing pain.12 In addition, Dr. Evans was unable to remove all of the minuscule carbon fiber fragments from Plaintiff's hand, and the remaining fragments sometimes extrude through the skin of Plaintiff's hand as they migrate to the surface.13 Plaintiff also faces the possibility of future ailments such as arthritis.14

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2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148194 *; CCH Prod. Liab. Rep. P19,486; 2014 WL 5325223

TREVOR CAWLEY, Plaintiff, vs. EASTMAN OUTDOORS, INC., ET AL., Defendants.

Prior History: Cawley v. Eastman Outdoors, Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130588 (N.D. Ohio, Sept. 16, 2014)

CORE TERMS

arrow, manufacturing, punitive, foreseeable, warranty, carbon, genuine, inspect, shatter, fiber, conform, website, user, compensatory, abrogated, proximate, supplier