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Rush v. Sears, Roebuck and Co.

92 A.D.2d 1072 (1983)

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Rush v. Sears, Roebuck and Co.

New York Supreme Court Appellate Division

92 A.D.2d 1072 (1983)

Facts

Sisters Bobbie Jo and Donna Rush (plaintiffs) were severely burned when a Sears, Roebuck and Co. (Sears) (defendant) tent set up in their backyard caught fire. Bobbie Jo suffered third-degree burns on 95% of her body and died 15 days later. Donna suffered second- and third-degree burns on approximately 42% of her body, and she required periods of hospitalization and treatment that resulted in her experiencing long periods of pain. Lloyd T. Rush, Bobbie Jo’s estate administrator, (plaintiff) and Donna sued Sears for its alleged failure to treat the tent with any fire retardancy, knowing that the tent would be used and occupied by persons for living and recreational purposes. The jury awarded $300,000 to Bobbie Jo’s estate and $4,000,000 to Donna, plus $12,265 in medical expenses for both sisters. Sears appealed the damage awards of $300,000 and $4,000,000 as excessive. Sears did not appeal the award of damages for medical expenses.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Memorandum Decision)

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