A county jury awarded $1.4 million in damages to a 23-year old employee for compensation for an injury he suffered while at work. The victim was working in a grain bin sweeping out corn when he slipped and his right foot and lower right leg became caught by the drag chain of the conveyor system causing severe personal injury resulting in the eventual loss of his leg.
The lawsuit alleged that the company that designed the conveyor system failed to provide guards to protect workers engaged in required grain removal inside the grain bin and failed to provide instructions and warnings adequate to protect workers. The lawsuit further alleged that the grain conveyor system was defective in its design and was in an unreasonably dangerous condition when it was sold to the plaintiff’s employer.
According to the lawsuit the defective and unguarded drag chain conveyor was just 7 inches away from the large sump hole which was an accident just waiting to happen. The defense argued that the employer was negligent in sending workers including the plaintiff, into the grain bin while the sweep auger and grain conveyor were moving. They maintained that the system designed by the defendant’s company was not unsafe when used consistent with warnings on the grain bin door which states not to enter the bin while parts were moving. The case was tried before a District Court Judge and after more than 8 hours of deliberation the jury disagreed with the defense’s argument and returned their verdict in favor of the plaintiffs, awarding the plaintiff $1.4 million which covers lost wages,lost earnings,medical expenses,and future medical care.The jury found the defendant that designed the machine 46% at fault; the employer 44% at fault; and plaintiff 10% at fault. The jury’s verdict is a just verdict in a horrible accident that happened to a young man. It was the right and just result for a young man who will be permanently disabled due to unsafe machinery said the judge in her ruling and a manufacturer can’t put functionality before safety in the design of a product. You must take into consideration that what may make it unique, may also make it dangerous.The victims father takes comfort in knowing that with the proposed redesign of the equipment future workers can be safe.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of personal injury please contact me at 1 800 320-0080 or visit one of my offics in Rockville or Baltimore today.