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Our client v. Voit Products.
Confidential settlement amount. This incident happened at Trinity Lake (aka Clear Eagle Lake) near Weaverville, California. The plaintiff was the owner of an aircraft supply business at the Oakland Airport. He went up to Trinity Lake with friends and while he was there they encouraged him to attempt to water ski. He had never skied before and was a large man. They lent him a pair of relatively inexpensive Voit water skis to use. The rubber bindings on the water skis were held down on each side by metal rods affixed with screws. On his first attempt to get up on the skis, the plaintiff got up briefly but then fell when one of the skis seems to go out from under him. While he was treading water waiting for the boat to come around, a large piece of his foot plopped up in front of him in the water. He was unaware of his injury at that point. What had happened is that one of the retaining plates had come loose and had been bent upwards by the force of his foot coming out of the binding. This raised piece of metal served as a knife to cut off his entire forefoot leaving him crippled. He had to walk with a cane and the foot was extremely painful and ugly. The owner of the skis had banged them into a tree after the incident and tossed them in a trash can at the campsite. Fortunately, plaintiff’s attorneys were able to retrieve the damaged skis with rapid private investigation so there was a product for the experts to examine and determine that it was defective in design. The binding was unsafely designed and attached.