One common cause of workplace injuries is faulty equipment. Workers in many types of industries depend on the equipment they use to be in good working order. When it’s not, the results can be catastrophic.
A man who suffered serious injuries in 2015 after an equipment malfunction has been awarded $5.9 million by a jury here in Illinois. The man was removing a chimney from a property when he fell somewhere between 20 and 25 feet from the bucket he was in that was on an aerial lift truck. Apparently, there was a crack in the bucket that hadn’t been noticed.
In his lawsuit, the injured worker alleged that the owner/operator of the aerial lift failed to have it inspected as required by the owner’s manual and industry standards. The owner of the truck argued that the previous owner had covered the crack with insulation. Therefore, even if it had been inspected, the problem wouldn’t have been noticed.
The victim, who hasn’t been able to work since the accident, also sued the owner of the rental property on which he had been working. That defendant argued that he had no liability for the man’s injury since he was working as an independent contractor, as was the owner of the lift. He said they were not being paid to remove the chimney but were doing it as a favor.
The jury saw things differently. They determined that both defendants were equally liable for the worker’s injuries. The award included payment for medical bills, disfigurement, loss of normal life and pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries on a worksite that are the result of malfunctioning or poorly maintained equipment, it’s essential to determine who can and should be held liable in addition to obtaining the workers’ compensation benefits you’re due. An experienced attorney can help you.