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June 2, 2006 Press Releases

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – A former Camp Pendleton Marine who was severely injured by a defective folding knife has been awarded more than $280,000 in damages, his attorney Gayle M. Blatt said today.

According to Blatt, a partner with San Diego-based Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield, the verdict was awarded by a jury in the Oregon Circuit Court, where the knife manufacturer — Columbia River Knife and Tool — is headquartered.

Blatt said her client, Chris Nickell, 24, a former Marine Lance Corporal stationed at Camp Pendleton, was on board a troop ship in the Persian Golf, preparing to go ashore in Iraq, when he was injured while assembling his gear for combat.

“He was using a sharp folding knife – a KISS (Keep it Super Simple) model — to cut into his sidearm holster to make it more functional, when the knife blade collapsed and shut on the middle of his right index finger,” she explained. “His finger was nearly amputated, requiring emergency treatment and ultimately reconstructive surgery, plus four months of physical therapy,” she said. “The jury agreed with us that the knife’s design was clearly defective, as the lock unintentionally disengaged.”

According to Blatt, the middle joint of her client’s finger is permanently damaged and has very limited movement, no strength and is a source of chronic pain. The monetary award will cover future medical expenses and a loss of earnings, she said.

Established in 1947, Casey Gerry is the oldest plaintiffs’ law firm in San Diego. The firm is located at 110 Laurel Street in the Banker’s Hill neighborhood of San Diego. For more information, call (619) 238-1811 or Contact Us online.