Nail gun lawsuit involving brain injury ends in $2.5 million verdict

by Charles Miller

Martin Oliver was using a Hitachi NR83A nail gun when the gun discharged a nail into his head. The nail penetrated Oliver’s brain, causing permanent, disabling injuries.

Oliver sued the nail gun’s manufacturer, alleging that the tool was defectively designed in that it had a contact trip mechanism. As a result, the gun permitted a nail to be fired whenever the nose of the gun contacted a surface and the trigger was pulled—regardless of the order in which those events occurred.

Oliver contended that the gun should have had a sequential trip mechanism, which would have prevented it from firing unless the trigger was pulled after the gun’s nose contacted a surface. Oliver alleged that Hitachi was aware that the contact trip mechanism could cause inadvertent firing but failed to address the risk.

The jury found that the nail gun was defectively designed and awarded about $2 million to Oliver, including $1 million for pain and suffering and about $1 million in economic damages. The addition of costs and interest raises the plaintiff’s recovery to more than $2.5 million.

Fighting for Safer Power Tools

To successfully bring about a claim involving serious injury due to a defective power tool, such as a nail gun or table saw, clients need an experienced, educated attorney on their side. They also need an attorney with the financial resources to take the case to trial.

If you have suffered a serious personal injury or a loved one has suffered a serious injury or death as the result of a defective product, you may have a claim for compensation. Contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson for your free case evaluation and to learn more about your legal right to compensation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by filling out a free legal consultation form.


Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Results of other cases do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.

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by Charles Miller

Charles Miller is a licensed attorney and a partner at Heygood, Orr & Pearson. Charles focuses his practice on areas of complex commercial litigation and personal injury litigation.