Very disappointing news for Cybex International, the exercise equipment manufacturing company of which Atlas Shrugged movie Producer John Aglialoro is the CEO:
A New York jury on December 8 awarded a 30-year old plaintiff $66 million in her suit against the maker of an exercise machine that fell on her, rendering her a quadriplegic. Barnhard v. Cybex International, Inc., No. 2368/2005 (Supreme Court, Erie County, New York). The plaintiff filed suit against Cybex International, which is a leading manufacturer of exercise equipment, and against her employer at the time, Amherst Orthopedic Physical Therapy. As reported by CNBC, the jury apportioned 75 percent of liability to Cybex, 20 percent to Amherst Orthopedic, and 5 percent to the plaintiff. Cybrex had only $4 million in insurance coverage.
Cybex plans to appeal the verdict. See Aglialoro’s statement for additional information.
The transformation of modern tort law since the 1960s has resulted in a dramatic increase in such product liability lawsuits, and (as Peter Huber documents) it has had an adverse effect on safety, health, the cost of insurance, and individual rights.
These kinds of large punitive awards result from just the kind of success-punishing, anti-business legal institutions you find inside the pages of Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged.