While working at an auto-parts manufacturing plant, a female press operator had her hand crushed and burned to the point of requiring amputation. She reached in to remove a completed part from a 30 ton rubber injection molding press when a hydraulic cylinder fractured causing the upper portion of the press to fall on her hand. She was trapped for 20 minutes before she could be extricated from the press.
Our firm discovered another machine cylinder had fractured only a few months before. The manufacturers knew about the metallurgical defects in the cylinder and the lack of safety features on the presses, yet they had not fixed the problem. Our firm developed a computer animation that showed how the failure occurred, and how it could have easily been prevented. The case was successfully resolved shortly after mediation.
Each year, thousands of people are injured or killed due to a tragic accident such as this one. Losing someone you love is always devastating, but it can be particularly overwhelming when your loved one’s death resulted from a preventable accident. Generally, Indiana workers’ compensation laws do not allow an employee to sue his employer for injuries sustained while on the job. If an accident was the result of a third party’s negligence, however, an employee may file a lawsuit seeking damages against that party.
Defective equipment or machinery is often ultimately to blame after an industrial accident. Because a product manufacturer has a duty to deliver products free from defect, an injured worker, or his surviving beneficiaries, may file a products liability suit against a third-party equipment manufacturer over a dangerous or defective product. When evaluating a products liability claim, a court will take into account the purpose of the product or machine, whether the machine was accompanied by sufficient safety warnings, the overall utility of the product, the probability an accident might occur during regular use of the machine, and the product’s projected lifetime of usefulness.
In order to succeed in a products liability case, a plaintiff generally must demonstrate a product manufacturer had a duty to provide a safe product, that duty was breached due to a defective design or manufacturing process, and the injury for which compensation is being sought directly resulted from the defect. If you or a loved one was injured due to the wrongful act or negligence of another, you may be eligible to receive compensation under Indiana law. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can assist you in evaluating your claim.
Determining Fault in General Aviation Accidents, Indiana Injury Lawyers Blog, January 17, 2012
Hosting a Personal or Corporate Holiday Party?, Indiana Injury Lawyers Blog, December 7, 2011