The Kings and swingman Francisco Garcia have settled their product liability lawsuits against the manufacturer of an exercise ball that exploded and severely injured Garcia.
Prominent Sacramento personal injury lawyer Roger Dreyer, who represented the Kings and Garcia in their federal civil suits, said the amount of money paid by Ledraplastic S.p.a. to his clients is confidential but described the resolution as "extremely favorable" to them.
On Oct. 9, 2009, Garcia was balancing on the 75-centimeter ball and lifting weights at the same time when the ball burst and he "fell forcibly to the ground with the (90-pound) weights in each hand," according to Garcia's suit. It said he suffered serious injuries, including a fractured right forearm.
The Kings alleged a breach of the manufacturer's warranty and sought recovery of more than $4 million in salary, which the team was required to pay while Garcia was unable to play.
He missed four months during the first year of a five-year contract extension worth $29.6 million.
Early this year, Garcia suffered an aggravation of the forearm injury that caused him to miss two games in March.
Garcia sought an unspecified amount of monetary compensation for physical and mental pain and suffering along with a loss of future earning capacity.
"We are very pleased with the outcome and look forward to a stringent policy informing consumers of the potential danger of utilizing weights when working out with the Gymnic fit ball," Dreyer said Tuesday.
The balls were warranted to withstand 600 pounds and to be "burst resistant," the suits alleged. Yet, in a test commissioned by Dreyer, a ball like the one at issue burst with 400 pounds on it.
As part of the agreement to keep the financial terms of the settlement secret, Ledraplastic, an Italian firm, agreed to circulate a letter informing and reminding all distributors that Gymnic fit balls should be used with only body weight and never with weights, and advising distributors to forward the letter to customers.
© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.
Read more articles by Denny Walsh
What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com
Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)
Here are some rules of the road:
Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "Report Abuse" link to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.
Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.
Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.
Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand.
Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.
Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.
Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.
Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.
Don't flag other users' comments just because you don't agree with their point of view. Please only flag comments that violate these guidelines.
You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "Report Abuse" link to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at email@example.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.
If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them.