Each year thousands of workers are injured or killed at their work place. Although a state’s worker’s compensation system places limitations on the ability of employees to hold employers accountable for these work-related injuries, many people do not realize that there may be another available source of recovery. Injuries in the work place are often caused by defective products. If a product causes an on-the-job injury, a product liability suit may be brought against the product’s manufacturer. Unfortunately, catastrophic injuries, deaths, and amputations commonly occur from defective products found in the work place.
No clearer example of the tragic consequences of a defective product in the work place can be found than in one of our current cases. We represent a hard-working blue collar man who was severely burned as a result of a defective product. Our client was working in a manufacturing plant in Kentucky. The plant has a trolley system that carries hot molten aluminum in ladles across the ceiling. These trolleys carry the ladles over the heads of the employees working below the system on the floor of the plant. In this particular case, one of the back wire ropes attached to the trolley broke, causing a ladle full of the molten aluminum to spill on the floor.
The aluminum ignited hydraulic fluid on the floor creating a flash fire. Our client was unfortunately walking under the ladle at the time the incident occurred and was severely burned as a result of the flash fire. Our client sustained serious burns to his body. His medical bills are approaching $750,000.00. Because of his injuries, he will not be able to work for the rest of his life. Not only was his life changed forever, but his wife’s life has also changed. She is now her husband’s primary caretaker as he cannot perform everyday life activities without assistance.
Even though the rope was specifically manufactured for this type of trolley system, the rope was defectively designed because it was not strong enough to hold the system when the trolley’s ladle was full of hot molten aluminum. Through discovery, we will learn the extent, if any, of testing the manufacturers did on the rope. Specifically, was testing performed by the manufacturer under similar conditions and in a similar environment as the conditions and environment found at the plant? Kendall Dunson is lead attorney on this case. If you need additional information on work-place injury litigation you can contact Kendall at 800-898-2034 or Kendall.Dunson@beasleyallen.com.
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