Attorney Thomas Scolaro was recently featured in an exclusive interview on LawDragon.com. Notably Mr. Scolaro addresses results past and present, including the successful litigation against a furniture manufacturer and the hurdles in forcing the industry to change inadequate industry standards to prevent toddlers from sustaining fatal injuries:
LawDragon: Can you describe a recent matter that you’ve handled?
Thomas Scolaro: A two-year-old boy was killed when he tried to climb up his dresser to reach the baby-cam. As he pulled out the drawers to climb to the top, the center of gravity shifted and the dresser tipped over onto him. He asphyxiated to death. He only weighed 30 pounds yet was able to cause the dresser to tip over. We successfully settled the lawsuit with the manufacturer. However, since this dresser was actually compliant with all furniture industry tip-over standards, I felt that we needed to shine a flashlight on the inadequacy of the voluntary furniture tip-over standard and hold them accountable. I am currently suing the furniture industry trade group, American Home Furnishings Alliance and ASTM International for negligently promulgating a known inadequate tip-over standard. A 30-pound, two-year-old boy should never be able to tip over a dresser. If that can happen then the standard used by manufacturers is grossly inept.
LawDragon: What are some of the key challenges of going up against this trade group?
Thomas Scolaro: Several. Most notably, the furniture industry claims that it owes no duty to the public and therefore cannot be responsible for recommending that all manufacturers adopt and build their furniture to its specifications. As a voluntary trade association it claims that its standards are advisory only and that manufacturers are free to develop their own tip-over standards irrespective of its claim that they are the voice of the entire furniture industry.
LawDragon: What might be the larger impact on the industry if you’re successful with this case?
Thomas Scolaro: If we are successful then families who have lost children will be able to hold the standard-setters responsible. In the end, however, my client is mostly interested in change. She wants the trade group to strengthen the tip-over standard by increasing the testing weight and the testing methodology. Currently, the testing is done by pulling only one drawer out at a time. That is not how a child does it. They pull out multiple drawers to use as a sort of ladder to get to the top. That has to change or more children will die. It’s that simple.
To read the entire interview, click the link below:
Lawyer Limelight: Thomas Scolaro
Leesfield Scolaro is a personal injury law firm handling cases throughout the state of Florida. From Key West to the Panhandle, the personal injury attorneys at Leesfield Scolaro litigate cases from onset to jury trials, obtaining record verdicts on behalf of its clients. Leesfield Scolaro has one of the most robust network and referral program in the country, representing out of state clients injured in Florida, including clients from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Texas, California, Georgia, and beyond.