In this country, if you kill, cripple or dismember someone you should expect to go to jail, unless that person works for you. Unlike the laws that govern ordinary people, the laws regarding workplace safety offer unfair protections to businesses that expose employees to unnecessary and preventable dangers. In fact, workers compensation laws (originally enacted to provide financial protection for injured workers) often act to restrict the types of lawsuits that can be brought for workplace injury and in many cases prevent the injured employee or his family from being able to sue at all. In addition to the risks associated with mismanaged and poorly-supervised worksites, all too often a defective product also plays a role in a workplace injury or death.
Over the years, we have represented scores of individuals who have been severely injured by a defective product used in a workplace. If a supervisor removes a guard from a saw and an employee is later injured, the supervisor and the company may be liable for that removal. Additionally, if the removal of the guard was foreseeable to the manufacturer, the product may be defective under Alabama law. Examples of cases we have handled involving defective products that caused workplace injuries include: woodworking machinery that lacked anti-kickback teeth to prevent violent ejection of wood pieces into a nearby worker, a tractor mounted posthole digger that lacked a guard to prevent a worker from being entangled in an exposed rotating bolt, an excavator quick coupler that failed and allowed the excavator bucket to fall onto a worker, a horizontal boring machine that lacked proper torque control and operator presence technology to prevent the machine from overturning and crushing a worker, ungrounded electrical equipment, and many more instances of workplace injury and death caused by defective products.
We currently represent the family of a young man who was killed while operating a large excavator or track hoe. While driving the excavator from one location to another, the operator had to maneuver among trees on a jobsite. When he stood up from the seat to look out the side door, the excavator violently swiveled and crushed his head against a tree. The allegations are that this excavator should have been equipped with operator presence sensing technology that would have prevented operation of the machine if the operator is out of the seat. Because such technology has been used on various machinery for years, we look forward to presenting this case to a jury.
If you need more information on any of the matters discussed above, contact Mike Andrews at 800-898-2034.
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