Uncomfortable prosthetic leg focus of trial

David Yates May 23, 2011, 9:46am

A Jefferson County jury will be tasked to decide if an elderly amputee's prosthetic leg was defectively designed and caused him to fall.

Jury selection in the trial of Charles Youngblood vs. Letourneau Lifelike Orthotics & Prosthetics began Monday, May 23, in Judge Gary Sanderson's 60th District Court.

Court records show that Youngblood's left leg was amputated below the knee in 1996. The Veteran's Administration fitted him with a prosthetic afterward.

In 2006, Letourneau Lifelike Orthotics fitted him with a new prosthetic, which Young alleges was too heavy and limited his mobility, forcing him to have the leg refitted 10 times over the next year.

On Aug. 20, 2007, Youngblood allegedly suffered a serious fall and broke his arm when the Velcro strap securing his prosthetic leg to his body failed, the suit states.

"The fall was caused by Letourneau's failure to design and build a left leg that met its own standards," the suit states, adding that the leg limited Youngblood's daily activities.

He claims the fall forced him to undergo physical therapy and limited his overall independence.

Youngblood will ask jurors to award him damages for his mental anguish, medical expenses and loss of enjoyment.

Houston attorney Jesus Garcia represents him.

Attorney Leigh Lewis of the Houston law firm Tucker, Taunton, Snyder & Slade represents Letourneau.

Case No. B184-421

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