Jury Awards $157 Million in Tree Stand Death

Being that I do not know any of the details of this case, I cannot comment on the points that I have shown below. But, in my opinion we may now be seeing more of these cases in the news, which in-turn will drive the costs of treestands up!  But, I would like to know if the gentleman was wearing his fall restraint properly.

Jurors went beyond what was requested by attorneys and have awarded a Lafayette, Ind., woman $157 million in a wrongful death lawsuit against the makers of a tree stand that malfunctioned and caused her husband’s death.

Jurors only deliberated for around an hour before reaching the verdict Tuesday.

Carol Simonton filed the lawsuit in February 2006 after an incident where her husband, Timothy, 42, was found hanging from a tree. He had used the stand to climb the tree while scouting for deer season.

Simonton’s attorney, Mike Phelps, had sought a $100 million award, and was surprised when he learned of the higher amount awarded by jurors. The complaint had sought $6,000 for funeral expenses and $1.5 million for lost wages based on what Timothy Simonton would have earned over 30 years.

Named in the suit were L & L Enterprises of Hattiesburg, Miss., Ol’ Man Tree Stands of Jay, Fla., and TSR Inc. of Pace, Fla. No one representing any of the companies was present for the trial.

The Associated Press left a phone message seeking comment from Ol’ Man Tree Stands and TSR Inc. Wednesday night and spoke to a person named in the suit for L & L, who said he was no longer with the company.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, TSR recalled about 9,000 Ol’ Man tree stands and about 500 replacement pin sets in 2007.

This should be a reminder that, we all should wear our fall restraint/safety harness systems while hanging treestands, sitting in them, climbing in and out of them.  I think that our loved ones would much rather have us arund than the money!