TORONTO, Nov. 6, 2014 /CNW/ - The Ontario Court of Appeal has upheld a jury verdict in favour of a London, Ontario-area man in the first successful North American lawsuit against the makers of Visions glass cookware, Corning Incorporated and World Kitchen Inc. The case is one of the longest individual lawsuits in Ontario history.
"It's been a long road to justice for the Stilwell family," said Michael Smitiuch, of Smitiuch Injury Law PC, the lawyer representing 58 year-old Lanny Stilwell, who began his legal challenge 14 years ago. "Not everyone has the strength and perseverance that it takes to go up against a corporation of that size for that long. We're delighted with the decision."
In rejecting the cookware makers appeal, the three-judge panel ruled that if there had been adequate product warnings, Stilwell's wife would likely not have purchased the Visions glass cookware.
On Sept. 11th, 2000, Lanny Stilwell, a married father of two from Beachville (outside London) was rinsing a Visions glass Dutch Oven, when it suddenly broke into four sharp pieces. Stilwell lost the use of his right hand, after his nerves, tendon and artery were severed, causing permanent damage.
A London jury awarded Stilwell $1.15 million in damages on June 12th, 2013, after finding that the makers of Visions glass cookware, World Kitchen Inc., and Corning Incorporated, were negligent by not including labels warning consumers to stop using their glass cookware products, if banged or dropped.
"This decision confirms that when it comes to public safety, consumers have every right to know that the glass cookware they use in their kitchens every day, may not be as safe as they think," Smitiuch added. "We hope this case helps prevent another tragedy."
Since 1983, there have been more than two thousand reported incidents in Canada and the U.S., in which consumers were injured when their Visions glass cookware broke, in some cases, for no apparent reason.
SOURCE: Smitiuch Injury Law Professional Corporation