Payne Mitchell Ramsey
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Texas Supreme Court Unanimously Affirms $20M+ Judgment Against Emerson Climate And Fusite

Payne Mitchell Ramsey is pleased to announce that the Texas Supreme Court affirmed a judgment in favor of their client Clarence Johnson against Emerson for a total of $20,020,030.08. The Texas Supreme Court affirmed the verdict in a unanimous opinion. “It was a long and hard fought battle for Mr. Johnson. We were honored to represent him and happy that justice has prevailed” says Andy Payne who led the trial team including Todd Ramsey and Stefanie Bradshaw. The appeal was handled by Jeff Levinger, Shannon Hays and Carl Cecere. 

The case was originally tried in the 48th District Court of Tarrant County, the Honorable David Evans presiding. The jury returned a multimillion dollar verdict in favor of Plaintiff, Clarence Johnson. The product liability case involved an air conditioning compressor and components designed and sold by Emerson Climate Technologies and Fusite. The defendants’ compressor failed, spewing pressurized hot flaming oil onto Mr. Johnson’s face, neck and torso.

Plaintiff alleged that the compressor was defective in the design of its electrical terminal, the lack of appropriate guarding and its lack of adequate warnings. “We were pleased that the jury found for Mr. Johnson on all defect theories,” said lead plaintiff counsel Andy Payne. In the trial, plaintiff’s team brought to light defendants’ own patents and testing demonstrating defendants’ knowledge of the hazard and a fix for the hazard that the defendants sold on other products. “Despite admitted knowledge of the hazard, the defendants made no effort to warn of the hazard,” reports Todd Ramsey who believes this motivated the jury to return a large verdict.

Although defendants offered no money to settle, the jury returned a substantial verdict, placing only ten percent fault on Mr. Johnson. The Texas Supreme Court then unanimously affirmed the $20M+ judgment. “We hope that Emerson will receive the message sent by this Tarrant County jury and take steps to improve their product design and warnings so this never happens again,” said Andy Payne.

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