A defendant named in a Madison County lawsuit filed by auto transport rig designer Cottrell responded Wednesday to allegations made in the Aug. 28 case.

Cottrell has accused fall safety product expert and salesperson J. Nigel Ellis of using information he learned during discussions with the company against it in court.

Ellis, founder of Ellis Litigation Support and head of fall safety design companies Dynamic Scientific Controls and Ellis Ladder Improvements of Wilmington, Del., said in response that he was confident that his conduct "will be found to conform to the highest ethical standards."

Ellis provided the following statement to the Record:

"My reputation as a leading national safety expert, particularly in the field of fall protection and fall safety, spans four decades," Ellis said. "I have served and continue to serve on industry and government committees; I've helped develop industry standards on fall safety issues; and I am the author of the definitive textbook on the subject.

"Unfortunately, my willingness to testify as an expert in lawsuits involving safety issues sometimes puts me at odds with the companies that are being sued. When the facts of this case have been fully examined, I am confident that my conduct will be found to conform to the highest ethical standards."

Cottrell claims that Ellis went to work as an expert witness for plaintiff's attorney Brian Wendler - who has filed numerous lawsuits against the company on behalf of injured truckers - after it had been in talks with him.

Because of Ellis's testimonies, Cottrell claims that it has been forced to settle cases for an unspecified amount, but which has cost the company more than $75,000 each.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-1373.

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