$60M verdict returned in product liability case

A federal jury in Orange County has awarded close to $60 million to the family of a woman who died due to a defective heater. The result is believed to be one of the largest single-plaintiff tort verdicts handed down in the Central District so far this year.


After eight days of deliberation, the jury awarded $59.3 million to Kenneth Shinedling, husband of Amy Shinedling, who died in a house fire started by an apparently defective radiant quartz heater manufactured by Sunbeam Products Inc. Judge Cormac J. Carney presided. Shinedling v. Sunbeam Products Inc., CV12-438 (C.D. Cal., filed March 27, 2012).

Michael H. Artinian, name partner at Bridgford, Gleason & Artinian, said generally, consumers purchase products with the expectation that they will not be harmed by them.


“This tragic case drives home the tremendous responsibility product manufacturers have in ensuring products they place in the stream of commerce are designed safely, and that adequate preventative warnings are provided,” he said.