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Harry Reid's Blindness Lawsuit Comes to an End

Former US senator sued the maker of TheraBand
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 6, 2019 9:45 AM CDT
Updated Apr 6, 2019 10:15 AM CDT
Former US Sen. Harry Reid speaks from the witness stand, Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Las Vegas. Reid testified in his negligence lawsuit against the maker of an exercise device.   (AP Photo/John Locher)
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(Newser) – A jury in Las Vegas flatly rejected former US Sen. Harry Reid's lawsuit against an exercise band maker he blamed for injuries—including blindness in one eye—he suffered when the stretchy device slipped from his grasp and he fell face-first a little more than four years ago, the AP reports. After eight days of testimony, the eight-member civil trial jury deliberated about an hour before declaring that Reid never proved the first of 10 questions they were asked to decide: that the device Reid used that day was a TheraBand made by Ohio-based Hygenic Corp. Jurors never saw the actual device because Reid's adult son, attorney Leif Reid, disposed of it soon after Harry Reid was injured. Reid and his wife, Landra Gould, weren't in the courtroom when the verdict was read.

The 79-year-old former Democratic Party leader used a wheelchair throughout the two-week trial, following treatment for pancreatic cancer and back surgery. Their lawyer, James Wilkes II of Tampa, Florida, says he respected the Nevada jury's decision. "I may not agree with the outcome, but I agree with the way we got there," Wilkes says. TheraBand lawyer Laurin Quiat was subdued in victory. "My client always believed in the product, believes that the product is safe, is not unreasonably dangerous for anyone, and they stand behind it," he said. "That's all I have to say." Reid and his wife sought unspecified monetary damages because they said the product was defective and the company failed to warn the public it was dangerous for elderly people like Reid to use.

(Read more Harry Reid stories.)

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