Jonathon Schuch - Expert Witness Assistance  

Mr. Schuch has served as an expert witness in matters related to Patent Infringement, Wheelchairs, Paratransit, Nursing Homes, Assistive Technology, Medical Equipment, Disability Issues, Negligence, and Product Liability. Specifically, Mr. Schuch is qualified to analyze patents related to assistive and rehabilitative devices, assessing the qualifications and common general knowledge of the POSITA, construe patent claims, assess validity, and assess infringement. Mr. Schuch is also qualified to conduct engineering investigations of injuries, perform root cause analyses, and offer opinions regarding the mechanics of an injury and the means by which an injury could be reasonably avoided. Examples of cases in which Mr. Schuch has consulted can be found below. To discuss specific cases, please contact Mr. Schuch by phone (434-989-2065) or by e-mail (jzschuch@gmail.com).

 

 

EXAMPLES OF CASES IN WHICH EXPERTISE HAS BEEN PROVIDED
Year Retained By Description Deposed? Trial?
2018 Plaintiff Plantiff, who ambulates with a rolling walker, was visiting an automobile dealership in Las Vegas, Nevada. While exiting the premises, one of the rear legs of the walker caught on a doormat inside the premises, significantly buckling the doormat and causing the plaintiff to trip and fall. Provided opinions related to the design of the walker (specifically, the rear glides, which are unnecessarily unsafe), the condition of the doormat (which did not lay flat on the floor), and ADA (in terms of accessible routes). Yes No (case settled)
2018 Plaintiff A Maryland Medicaid wheelchair transportation provider was transporting a passenger to a medical appointment. The driver failed to use the Wheelchair Tiedown and Occupant Restraint System as needed. The passenger fell from the wheelchair during transit, breaking both legs. Provided opinions as to the the applicable ADA regulations and standard of care in transporting passengers seated in wheelchairs and the multiple breaches of the ADA regulations and standard of care by the defendants. Yes No (case settled for $1.5M)
2017 Plaintiff An elderly woman with Multiple Sclerosis was provided a power wheelchair with a joystick and electronics that had design defects. The electronics had 5 programmable "drive" modes, the desired mode selected by engaging a Down button or an Up button. However, the system was designed as a circular loop in that repeated engagement of the Down button moved the wheelchair from drive mode 1, programmed with the slowest and least responsive parameters, directly into drive mode 5, programmed with the fastest and most responsive operational parameters. Further, this could be done while the joystick was being used. While driving the power wheelchair in her home in drive mode 1, the plaintiff inadvertently bumped the Down button on the joystick, causing the wheelchair to rapidly accelerate, propelling the plaintiff and wheelchair into the wall, breaking the plaintiff's leg. Provided opinions related to the system's defective and unsafe design and the defendants' failure to provide any warnings on this safety issue. Of note, other joystick designs are available and used by other wheelchair manufacturers that do not possess this design defect. Yes No, case resolved through arbitration.
2017 Defendant Plaintiff claimed the defendant infringed on a Canadian patent related to a "mobility aiding device." Provided testimony pertaining to the qualifications and common general knowledge of the POSITA, construction of the 18 claims of the patent, rebuttal to the claim of infringement of 2 of the 18 claims, and validity of the 18 claims (anticipation, obviousness, and mere aggregation).   Yes
2016 Defendant Plaintiff using a 3-wheel scooter on a cruise ship got temporarily stuck on an exterior door threshold. Once free, the plaintiff exited the doorway, drove down a ramp, and made a sharp turn, tipping over. Testified to the instability of 3-wheel scooters, made worse by the fact that the plaintiff was a lower extremity amputee, the prevalence of scooter tipover accidents absent getting stuck on a threshold, and the liklihood that the plaintiff would have tipped over without becoming stuck prior to exiting the door. Yes No (case settled)
2015 Defendant Plaintiff in a skilled nursing facility was using an electronic bed for 2.5 years when a part of the bed broke. The skilled nursing facility continued to use the bed while waiting for replacement parts. The plaintiff fell from the bed breaking her leg, which contributed to her death. Testified to the design of the bed, the functionality of the bed prior to, and after, its breakage. Offered opinions, based on testing of an exemplar bed, that proved the fundamental assumptions of the plaintiff's expert were flawed, his opinions on the cause of the incident, which were based upon his assumptions, were erroneous, and that the malfunctioning bed did not contribute to the plaintiff's fall and injuries. Yes No (case settled)
2014 Plaintiff Patent infringement case. Inventor of a four-wheel walker (rollator) claimed that his patent was infringed upon. Retained to investigate that claim.

No, case settled

2014 Defendant Power wheelchair rider hit and killed by driver of city fire department fire truck. Yes No (case settled)
2014 Plaintiff Plaintiff was being transported in City's paratransit vehicle. Plaintiff slid out of wheelchair when City transit driver slammed on brakes, resulting in broken femur. Yes No (case settled)
2013 Plaintiff Resident of skilled care facility was placed in wheelchair with an oxygen tank on the back, two wheelchair cushions to increase seat height, but no anti-tippers on the wheelchair. Wheelchair tipped over backwards with resident, who hit head on concrete floor resulting in significant injuries. Yes No (case was arbitrated)
2012 Defendant Obese woman with lower extremity amputations was backing power wheelchair out of transport van and onto wheelchair lift. Woman accelerated out of van, hit outer lift barrier, and flipped over backwards, falling to the ground. Retained to address lift design standards and standards of care for transporting individuals with disabilities. No, case settled
2011 Defendant 17 year old slid out of wheelchair, striking her face on pavement, resulting in facial and dental injuries. Yes

No (case settled for $25,000)

2010 Plaintiff Older adult was being assisted at curbside check in of a major airport. She fell, breaking her hip. Yes No (case settled)
2010 Plaintiff Older adult in wheelchair was being transported by public transportation system. Driver assisting the passenger got her wheelchair stuck on van ramp. While trying to pull the wheelchair loose, the driver tipped the wheelchair and passenger over. Passenger landed on ground, suffering serious injuries. Yes No (case settled)
2006 Plaintiff Plaintiff had received new power wheelchair and custom contoured seating system. In very short timeframe, plaintiff developed severe pressure sores from new wheelchair seating system. Yes Yes - judgement for plaintiff
2005 Plaintiff Patient in rehabilitation hospital was being provided a bath. She was assisted to a shower chair that was improperly set up. Padded seat fell off and a part of the shower chair structural tubing impaled the plaintiff. Plaintiff died. Yes (defendant admitted liability)
2005 Defendant Plaintiff claimed vendor provided power wheelchair without antitip bars. Upon accessing the ramp to plaintiff's home, plaintiff claims to have tipped rearward, suffering head injury. Retained to assess the general safety of the wheelchair, the ramp, and the liklihood of the chair tipping as decribed by eyewitness testimony. Yes

Yes
(verdict for the defense)

 

2003 Plaintiff Plaintiff received walker from vendor. However, vendor combined legs of walker from one vendor with frame of walker from another walker. The components were incompatible, resulting in the collapse of the walker, and a femoral fracture suffered by the plaintiff. No (defendant did not challenge my findings) No
2003 Defendant Rear tip of manual wheelchair. Yes

No
(plaintiff dropped case)

 

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Page Last Modified: July 9, 2018