Robert M. Croft, Jr.

Experience

Product Liability Defense of Industrial Equipment Manufacturer Against Claims of Defective Design Involving Bucket Truck

We represented a man-lift manufacturer in a product liability case where plaintiff’s husband died in accident while operating an industrial bucket truck. The plaintiff alleged that the bucket truck should have been equipped with a strain gauge load cell system. The plaintiff filed claims for negligence, strict liability and breach of warrant against our client. After successfully obtaining dismissal of plaintiff’s manufacturing defect claim, we filed Daubert motions to exclude plaintiff’s experts arguing her experts were unreliable. Concurrently, we filed a motion for summary judgment. The state court judge granted both the Daubert motion and summary judgment motion in favor of our client.

Premises Liability Defense Relating to Claimed Damaged to a Vehicle

We represented a retailer against plaintiff’s claim that our client bent the frame of her vehicle during a routine tire rotation and oil change. The plaintiff asserted a negligence claim and, after a one-day bench trial, the Judge found in favor of our client.

Defense of Negligent Security Claim

We represented a retailer in a case where the plaintiff-mother was shopping with her son in our client’s store and heard two other customers using offensive language in earshot of her son. The plaintiff- mother told the customers to stop using the offensive language and a fight ensued. The plaintiff filed suit claiming the retailer should have prevented or intervened in the altercation. The trial court granted summary judgment; however, the plaintiffs appealed the trial court’s decision to the Kentucky Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of our client.

Defense of Negligence Claims Relating to Workers' Compensation as Exclusive Remedy

Negligence cases often take unexpected turns, and the ability to maintain a clear focus of the facts is often the determining factor in building a successful defense. When an elderly employee of our client, a consumer goods retailer, suffered injuries at the workplace, we defended them. The employee, who was not on duty at the time, entered the store to collect his paycheck and fell into a product display, suffering injuries in the process. The plaintiff later suffered an infection from the injuries and filed a claim against our client for negligence. We filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that that plaintiff’s negligence claim was barred because his exclusive remedy lied with Kentucky’s Workers’ Compensation Act. More specifically, we argued that an off duty employee’s act of picking up a paycheck is a work-related activity covered by Kentucky’s Workers’ Compensation Act. The court denied the initial motion for summary judgment, but we renewed our motion after discovering that plaintiff had signed a document at the hospital to release his records for a workers’ compensation matter. The court granted our renewed motion for summary judgment, and the negligence claim was dismissed. The decision was then appealed and, after extensive briefing, the Kentucky Court of Appeals upheld the summary judgment ruling.

Premises Liability Defense Relating to Injuries Suffered on a Loading Dock

We represented a consumer goods retailer in a premises liability case where the plaintiff went to one of our client’s facilities to obtain free packing boxes for her personal use, and entered a loading dock at the rear of the store without express or implied permission. While there, the plaintiff was hit on the head by a bay door, and alleged that she suffered a serious head injury as a result. The plaintiff filed a negligence claim against our client, seeking damages over six figures. I handled all aspects of the case, from managing the deposition process to drafting pleadings and filing motions. After the discovery process, we filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff was trespassing in that area of the store and did not have express or implied permission to be there, meaning the store could not be liable for her injuries. Summary judgment was granted by the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Kentucky and the plaintiff’s complaints were dismissed with no financial damages assessed to our client. The Court also granted our motion to publish this decision, thereby affirming longstanding Kentucky precedent.

Product Liability Defense of Vehicle Manufacturer Against Claims of Negligence Involving All-Terrain Vehicle

We represented a vehicle manufacturer in a product liability case where the plaintiff was riding an all-terrain vehicle manufactured by our client, and alleged that a tie rod malfunctioned and then broke, causing him to be thrown from the vehicle and suffer injuries. The plaintiff filed claims for negligence, strict liability and breach of warranty, while the plaintiff’s spouse also filed a claim for loss of consortium. We removed the case to federal court and the plaintiffs failed to timely disclose their liability expert and their expert’s report was inadequate due to the complex nature of the incident. Due to the complex nature of the incident, adequate expert testimony was required in order to prove the claims of negligence and strict liability. Without adequate expert testimony, we filed a motion for summary judgment and the motion was granted, removing any potential liability from our client.