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Aug. 9, 2012

Eagles’ Jason Peters sues Roll-A-Bout maker over injury

PHILADELPHIA – Attorneys announced today they had filed suit on behalf of the Philadelphia Eagles’ Jason Peters against a firm that made the Roll-A-Bout alternative-crutches device that broke and caused the all-pro offensive tackle to re-injure his Achilles tendon.

Peters, almost three weeks into his recovery from surgery for a ruptured Achilles suffered while he was working out in late March, was in his kitchen using the Roll-A-Bout when the metal upright broke just below the handlebars (see photo). Peters fell and ruptured his Achilles a second time, requiring yet another surgery.

Peters had been expected to recover from his initial surgery and return to football in October or November, but now he faces a more complicated recovery and is likely to miss the entire season. Peters has been named to the Pro Bowl every year since 2007.

“His recovery from the initial injury was going as expected and then this defective medical device failed and cost him the 2012-13 season and possibly beyond,” said Michael A. Trunk, of the Philadelphia law firm Kline & Specter, P.C, who is representing Peters along with attorney Jason Pearlman.

The defendant in the case, Delaware-based Roll-A-Bout Corporation, had promoted its product as designed to accommodate patients as large as seven feet tall and weighing as much as 500 pounds. Peters is listed on the Eagles 2011-12 roster as 6-foot-4 and 340 pounds.

The device -- advertised as “a modern solution to the ‘age old’ crutch” -- is intended to allow patients to use the same motion and muscles as they would for walking. A patient places his injured leg onto a cushion and uses the handlebars to direct the frame, which is set on wheels.

The lawsuit, filed in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, alleges the Roll-A-Bout was defective and that the company was negligent in its design and manufacture and failed to test the product or to warn customers about its “unreasonably dangerous” condition.

Kline & Specter has represented many clients injured by defective products and athletes in various cases. In 2009, Shanin Specter and Trunk settled a highly publicized lawsuit against La Salle University for $7.5 million for football player Preston Plevretes who had been cleared to play too soon after a concussion and then suffered brain damage when he was hit during a punt return.