Restaurant Lounge Chair Failure

Furniture Expert Witness

Leonard J. Backer, Furniture Industry and Seating Expert
Case Synopsis: Plaintiff was an adult male sitting in an indoor lounge area of a restaurant, waiting to be seated for dinner. The subject chair was a heavy wood frame design with an upholstered seat and back. After sitting for several minutes, the chair frame loosened up and then completely separated at one of the critical frame connection points and the chair collapsed; plaintiff falling onto the tile floor and sustaining injuries. Plaintiff claimed that the incident was the result of a “manufacturing defect,” and an expert was retained by the defendant chair manufacturer.
Expert Analysis: Based on a review of certain documents, it was determined that the subject chair was over 7 years old at the time of the incident. In addition to reviewing the manufacturer’s sales literature and catalog specifications, a site visit was conducted to inspect the subject chair, along with exemplar chairs still in use after 10+ years. Continue reading “Restaurant Lounge Chair Failure”