(CN) – A Florida state judge rejected a man’s claim that his new Hanes underwear ruined his “dream trip to Hawaii” because the fly “‘gaped open and acted like a sand belt on [his] privates,’ causing personal injury.” But the judge rejected Hanes’ request that the man “remove any and all videos from the Internet regarding the injury to his penis, [as] the court does not have jurisdiction to address this request.”
Escambia County Judge Pat Kinsey’s meticulous 4-page ruling in the product liability case is a model of judicial rigor. She found that Albert Freed of Pensacola “failed to prove the defendant manufactured a defective product, or even that there was any casual relationship between the fit of his underwear and his penile injury.”
According to Judge Kinsey’s ruling:
Freed won a one-week trip to Hawaii for selling more than $20,000 of diet products. He stayed a second week because he had not taken a vacation in 40 years. “Because this was a special vacation trip, plaintiff’s wife felt he should have new underwear to take to Hawaii. She purchased eight pairs of Hanes men’s briefs.”
Freed testified that he was in “debilitating pain” by his second day in Hawaii. He also testified that “he ignored the pain until he returned to Pensacola two weeks later … because he was enjoying himself so much on this long anticipated vacation …
“Plaintiff testified he believed sand that he picked up in his swim trunks while enjoying the Hawaiian surf had irritated his penis.” He said the pain got so bad “that he ‘could hardly walk.'” He testified that this was “caused by defendant’s defective manufacturing of his underwear, which caused his fly to gap open. The gap resulted in his penis protruding from his underwear, whereupon the edges of the opening abraded his penis like ‘sandpaper belts.'”
Judge Kinsey’s ruling continues: “However, the court finds it significant that plaintiff candidly admitted he was unaware his penis was protruding from his underwear until the final two days of his trip. Plaintiff testified he was able to ‘solve the mystery’ of how his penis had been injured when he was alone in the condo and able to wander around clothed only in his underwear.
“Under cross examination plaintiff admitted he never examined his penis to assess the problem and/or treat the problem. He testified he is a ‘belly-man’ and his ‘weight’ prevents him from looking down and seeing his penis.” He testified that he did not use the mirror in the condo to assess his injury because “that is ‘not something he would do.'” Nor did he ask his wife to examine his penis because “he would never ask her to do such a thing, nor did he want her to know about his pain because it would have ‘ruined her vacation’ as well.”
Judge Kinsey found that Freed had “the burden of proof in this civil case,” and failed to meet it. He “offered only his own testimony about his own actions (and inactions) in Hawaii,” whereas Hanes presented an expert witness, a chemical engineer who testified about the horizontal and vertical tensions and stresses placed upon underwear.
The judge found that “plaintiff’s manner of getting into his underwear was far more likely to have caused his problem than defective manufacturing.” (See footnote 4 of the ruling.)
In Footnote 3, the judge offers her thanks to a prominent attorney who was “conscripted” as an expert witness. This footnote deserves to be cited in full: “The court expresses its appreciation to the prominent male criminal defense attorney (who will remain unnamed) who was conscripted by the defense as an ‘expert’ witness. Apparently in the courtroom between other court appearances, this attorney was sitting on the back row of the spectators’ gallery minding his own business. The only male spectator in a courtroom occupied primarily by females, he was unexpectedly called to testify about his sensitivity to penile discomfort, and whether it is necessary and/or appropriate to ‘adjust’ oneself after donning men’s briefs. He was a good sport about being put on the spot and offered surprisingly candid testimony despite the intimate nature of the questions.”
This line of argument, if it can be called an argument, is continued in the crucial Footnote 4, in which Judge Kinsey notes: “Plaintiff testified he dressed by placing his underwear inside the pants he plans to wear that day and then pulls both on together. He testified that he never puts his underwear on and adjusts himself to get comfortable – that is just not how he does things.”
The judge found that Freed’s testimony was outweighed by the testimony of the expert witness. He gets nothing but the memories.