Case Conclusion Date: September 8, 2005
Practice Area: Personal Injury
Outcome: Very Large Settlement with Maintenance Co, et al.
Description: Plaintiff sustained an amputation and crush injury to his hand while operating a forklift. The forklift slid on a wet floor while the Plaintiff was turning and he was sliding off the seat, about to hit his head on the butt end of a large door, when he reached his hand out to the door to push himself back into the seat. The forklift then slid around into his arm and hand and crushed it against the door, virtually ripping it off. In discovery, it was learned that the equipment maintenance company has recently replaced the manufacturer’s seat with a seat that did not have “hip restraints” that would have kept Plaintiff from sliding out of the seat. The Plaintiff’s employer was third-partied into the case on the basis of Plaintiff’s grave injury and their failure to train Plaintiff and provide him with a safe workplace. Nissan manufactured the forklift, and did not contribute to the settlement, but did provide an affidavit from their engineer relative to the seat design and the impropriety of the replacement seat. The employer and forklift maintenance company negotiated the large settlement on their behalf at a Federal Court mediation. Goodyear and Achrochem were customers of Plaintiff’s employer who were believed to have some responsibility for the water on the floor, and contributed only minimally to the settlement.