Successful Settlement: Litigation Video Services Explain Mechanical Failure


The Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP law firm was representing the plaintiff in a product liability case that involved a mechanical failure of a semi-trailer truck. The truck was driving down the highway when two exhaust pipes (the tail pipe and intermediate pipe) became loose. The unsecured tail pipe flew off the back of the truck, puncturing the windshield of a car driving directly behind it and caused severe injuries to the driver.

The litigation video services Courtroom Animation provided to visualize this failure and resulting injury helped attorney Duffy Magilligan achieve a successful settlement for his client.

Challenge: How One Torca Clamp Caused Injury

It’s unlikely that any of the parties involved in evaluating this case – such as a jury or judge – would know the mechanical details of a semi-truck. It’s not common knowledge how a tractor’s tail pipe connects to the rest of the truck. Similarly, an expert witness would have a hard time communicating these technical details, such as how the exhaust pipes were loosely connected to the truck via the metal stanchion and torca clamp.

The expert could explain how the loose clamp and truck’s vibration was the cause of pipe dislodging, thus causing the plaintiff’s injury. However, without a visual, it’s hard to imagine. Duffy Magilligan requested a full legal animation to clarify how the exhaust pipe became loose and solidify his argument.

Solution: Right-Way Wrong-Way Depicted By Litigation Video Services

The Courtroom Animation team’s litigation video services focused on developing a technically accurate visual showing the causal mechanical failures. This animation was crucial in settlement discussions allowing for a judicious evaluation of damages. 

The animation labelled and demonstrated the truck’s parts working together, and subsequently, where the failure occurred. This detailed visual guide assisted all involved parties in understanding the plaintiff’s core explanation.

“We didn’t know if the jury would believe that a century-old truck manufacturer could make a defective product. The visuals provided by Courtroom Animation clearly illustrated the product’s failure, and they worked with our experts to make sure the visuals were fair and accurate. [They] gave us the confidence to stand behind our settlement demand, which led to an outstanding result for our deserving client.”

 – Duffy Magilligan, Attorney at Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP

We ensured that the animation was accurate, and therefore admissible, by collaborating between our team, the client and his counsel, and the mechanical expert witness. Our team also referenced photos of both the trailer and the plaintiff’s car when creating the legal animation.

In addition to the primary 3D animation, our team delivered another version called a right-way wrong-way animation. This visual highlighted an alternative design on the truck, i.e., what the proper secondary holdings on the truck should have been, and how having those proper secondary holdings would have avoided the accident. This helped further demonstrate how the defense was liable due to the truck’s design flaw.  

Courtroom Animation’s Right-way Wrong-way Animation Sample


The legal animation provided by the Courtroom Animation team further confirmed that the truck manufacturer was liable and caused the plaintiff’s injury. This case settled favorably during settlement discussions with the assistance of legal graphics.

Courtroom Animation’s team of visual strategists, designers and 3D animators can support your legal presentation for any case involving personal injury, medical malpractice, birth trauma, and more.

Learn how litigation video services can help your civil case today!


Duffy Magilligan

Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP

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