Minnesota personal injury attorney James Heuer reflects on a specific case that means a lot to him and stands out in his career.
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One of the most interesting cases that I worked on and actually one of the most rewarding was the case of the Estate of Jarnell Brown v. Reebok, Int. And it was a case where the family came to me thinking that their son had died as a result of medical malpractice and a misdiagnosis. And when we started investigating the case, we found out that, in fact, Jarnell died of lead poisoning.
And what happened was there was a shoe that Reebok made and on the shoe was a charm and it looked just like this. So it looked just like this, this charm and basically, what happened was it happened around Valentine’s Day and Jarnell’s mother had purchased the shoes that included the charm and he had eaten, as kids put stuff in their mouths, he was four-years old and he swallowed the charm without the chain. And given that he was slight in frame and structure, it did not pass.
And so we were able to – Reebok admitted liability when they found out it was their charm and we actually ended up taking the case out of the Minnesota courts all the way out to Massachusetts so we could get the best result for our client. And it resulted in a structured settlement for the family and probably most notably was at that time there was not laws against the lead content in children’s jewelry. And since that time, the consumer protection there’s been statutes passed, state, and local and federal that prohibit high contents of lead because lead poisoning is a very gruesome way to die and Jarnell died a very gruesome death because of corporate negligence.