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ARTICLE ID 198529

$________ – PRODUCT LIABILITY – MACHINE GUARDING – DESIGN DEFECT – FORKLIFT NEGLIGENCE – PLAINTIFF WAS INJURED WHEN LEG BECAME TRAPPED BETWEEN FORKLIFT AND A PALLET DUE TO LACK OF A GUARD – CRUSH INJURY TO LEFT FOOT – BELOW-THE-KNEE AMPUTATION REQUIRED.

U.S. District Court, Connecticut

In this product liability matter, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant was negligent in failing to properly maintain and service the forklift for the plaintiff’s employer. As a result of the lack of a guard, the plaintiff’s foot became trapped between the forklift and a pallet, resulting in a crush injury to her left foot. Due to complications from the injury, the plaintiff was required to undergo a below-the-knee amputation to her left leg. The defendant denied the allegations and maintained that the plaintiff’s own negligence was the cause of her injuries and damages.

The female plaintiff was employed by a drugstore chain. The store used a Raymond Model 21iRA -30TT stand up rear entry forklift maintained by the defendant to move supplies in a distribution center where she worked. On November 12, ________ while using the forklift, the fork became caught and caused the forklift to trap the plaintiff’s left leg between the forklift and a pallet. The plaintiff suffered a crush injury to her left foot and leg. As a result of the injuries, the plaintiff’s leg had several infections and it was deemed necessary to amputate the plaintiff’s leg below-the-knee. The plaintiff brought suit against the defendant manufacturer and the defendant distributor alleging product liability, defective design and negligence. The plaintiff contended that the forklift model had a history of getting caught on other objects, since the fork area was larger than the driver’s platform. When this occurs, the machine is jarred off course, as is what occurred on this particular date. The plaintiff contended that the machine lacked guards which would have protected the plaintiff’s extremities. The plaintiff contended that the defendant distributor maintained the forklift for her employer and had maintained and repaired the forklift on numerous occasions yet failed to install the necessary safeguards despite the known defect of the lift.

The defendants denied the allegations and maintained that the plaintiff’s own negligence was the sole cause of her injuries and damages.

The matter proceeded to trial only as to the defendant distributor. The jury deliberated and returned its verdict in favor of the plaintiff. The jury awarded the sum of $________ in damages, consisting of $________ in non-economic damages, $________ for past and future medical expenses and $________ for past and future lost earnings.

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