Machinery Defect Lawsuits
When workplace machinery and equipment are defective and malfunction while in use, workers can be faced with severe injuries through no fault of their own. Faulty machinery regularly causes crush injuries, bone fractures, burns and limb amputations.
In the construction industry alone, over 400 workers are killed on the job each year in machine and equipment accidents, many the result of mobile equipment like cranes, trucks and backhoes. Factory accidents throughout the country are equally as dangerous.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the majority of heavy equipment incidents at the workplace are vehicle-related collisions in various industries. Common injuries result from overturning, collision, falling debris, electrocution or becoming caught in running machinery.
Workers in agriculture, manufacturing, fracking, construction, mining and transportation are tasked with operating large, dangerous tools and machinery to perform their job. When these machines are faulty and malfunction, the equipment can be hazardous and cause permanent severe disabilities.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated product liability lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of product liability and industrial injury cases.
Injuries involving heavy equipment and machines can be severe and even fatal. An injury may occur due to negligence of management or due to defective machinery.
There are hundreds of machine types used in Ohio workplaces, including heavy equipment used in road construction, agriculture, fracking and manufacturing. Some of the more common machines involved in injuries include:
It is an employer’s responsibility to conduct machine and equipment safety inspections. If defects or safety issues are found, the employer is responsible for fixing old equipment or buying new, safe equipment to protect workers.
If machinery is made defective through use, and an employer does not maintain or replace it, there may be claims against the employer for endangering employees. It also against the law for an employer to remove or alter safety features on machinery. Some instances of employers endangering workers include the following:
Product Liability Claims: If machinery or equipment is inherently defective by design and injures an employee, an investigation will be necessary. A claim can be filed against the manufacturer of the equipment.
If the machinery is defective through use, and an employer did not maintain or replace it, then there may be claims against the employer for endangering employees. Experts will be needed to analyze the injury circumstances and the machines to determine the best course of legal action.
Employers have a responsibility to maintain equipment. It also against the law for an employer to remove or alter safety features on machinery. Some instances of employers cutting corners and endangering workers have included the following:
Workers compensation is available for on-the-job machine injuries: Workers compensation is intended to provide injured workers with prompt medical care and income replacement while they recover. Because the process for obtaining the proper workers comp can be complicated, it can be useful to contact an experienced labor attorney to assist you in the procedures of filing an initial claim or a denied claim.
Following any workplace machine malfunction accident, it is important to preserve any evidence and witness testimony, and to consult with a product liability and workplace injury attorney to weigh your legal options.
Lawsuits can recover rightful compensation for injured workers, and can help pay for medical costs, long-term disability, and lost wages following an accident. Machine malfunction can occur in many different job settings and industries such as:
Machines may be defective in design or made improperly and assembled with poor materials. If any workplace machine malfunctions and injures an employee, a claim can be filed against the manufacturer of the equipment, and potentially the company for lack of training or oversight.
When machines and equipment malfunction at the workplace, workers can be faced with severe injuries which can threaten their life. Poorly maintained machines made defective through use may cause crush injuries, severe burns and amputations.
Each year, hundreds of workers in road construction, mining and manufacturing lose their life or suffer permanent injuries on the job in machine and equipment accidents.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the majority of equipment incidents at the workplace are vehicle-related collisions in the construction, mining, fracking, factory and warehouse industries.
Individuals working in these high-risk workplaces sustain a great deal more work-related injuries than other American workers. When a piece of equipment fails due to poor maintenance or incorrect maintenance procedures, your employer may be held responsible.
Workers should never be placed in a situation where they must operate unsafe equipment, and risk their life at the workplace. The potential loss of income from walking away from the job can be stressful, however, there are recourses against unjust termination in these cases.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has laws that help protect workers from retaliation from an employer that requires them to operate unsafe equipment.
Employees can file a complaint with OSHA and contact an experienced labor attorney. If an investigation finds evidence that supports a claim against an employer, the court of law is likely to compensate victims for injuries caused, lost wages and benefits, and pain and suffering.
ABOUT THE LYON FIRM
Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.
The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.
NO COST UNLESS WE WIN
The Firm offers contingency fees, advancing all costs of the litigation, and accepting the full financial risk, allowing our clients full access to the legal system while reducing the financial stress while they focus on their healthcare and financial needs.
Many product liability and machine malfunction cases have had a positive impact on workplace health and safety, and we have witnessed improved lives and future injuries prevented as companies are forced to remove products and change designs and warnings as a result of litigation.
Mechanical accidents refer to injuries relate to machine malfunction or the collapse of heavy machinery. These accidents involve cranes, powered industrial trucks, robotics, power tools, factory equipment, forklifts, and other machines.
Some primary causes of a mechanical failure are defective bearings and gears, electrical failures in motors, misalignments, unbalances, unstable bases, bent shafts, pulley and belt failures, mechanical gaps, as well as aerodynamic or hydraulic issues.
Product liability lawsuits often contain causes of action for strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty. Strict liability applies to different factors than negligence-based claims.
In negligence cases, the actions of the defendant are the focus. In strict liability claims, the focus is on the condition of a product at the time it left the manufacturer. If a product is determined to be defective, the company is liable for any foreseeable injuries that are in-part caused by the defective condition of the product.
A tool or piece of machinery may be defective if it is unreasonably dangerous for its intended use. A legal cause of action can be based on several types of product defects. The following are product liability and strict liability claims available in most jurisdictions nationwide:
(1) Manufacturing/ Construction Defect:
These issues arise where the machine is released from the factory in a manner that deviates from the intended design or specifications. The defect can be a result of using the wrong materials, including the wrong or completely foreign materials.
As a result of the deviation, the product enters the market in an unreasonably dangerous condition and the worker is exposed to a product that is defective. Any personal injuries or economic loss that arise from the the defect are compensable under product liability law.
(2) Defective design and/or formulation:
Defective machine design product liability cases arise not because a mistake was made during the manufacturing process, but rather the original design of the machine is unreasonably dangerous. A “risk benefit analysis” is used to determine whether safer/less expensive alternative designs were available to the manufacturer.
Federal regulations set minimum standards for the design of many industrial products, and preemption defenses may preclude liability in some situations if the manufacturer follows and obtains federal approval for a product.
(3) Failure to warn or inadequate warning or instruction associated with the product:
All machines and industrial tools come with necessary and appropriate warnings and instructions for use. If the lack of a warning makes the product and use of the product unsafe, the manufacturer is liable for the failure to place the warning.
The machine fails to conform to a representation or warranty. Warranty claims are more common in commercial and economic loss cases than in personal injury cases. In many States, The Product Liability Act does not apply to cases with only economic loss, because the Commercial Code provides recourse for breach of warranty.
The warranty may be written or implied based upon the products intended purpose and merchantability. An example of a breach of warranty cases are cases involving industrial tool defects.
Fatigue failure involves the cracking of base materials and structural components due to defects or stress over time.
Risks: The following factors are considered under Ohio law when determining the risks associated with the design of a machine: (1) the magnitude of the risk of injury; (2) ordinary consumer awareness of the risk for injury; (3) the likelihood of causing injury; (4) the violation of a private or public standard; and (5) the consumer’s expectation of the performance of the product and level of danger. Ohio Revised Code 2307.5 (B) Product Defective in Design or Formulation.
Benefits: The following factors are considered under Ohio law when determining the benefits associated with machinery design: (1) the utility of the product; (2) availability of an alternative design; (3) the magnitude of risks associated with an alternative design. Ohio Revised Code 2307.5 (c)
Defenses for Defective Design: (1) a machine is not defective by design if it contains an adequate warning of an unavoidably unsafe aspect of the product; (2) the dangerous aspect is inherent to the product, recognizable, and cannot be eliminated without compromising the product’s usefulness; (3) a lack of a feasible alternative design. 2307.75 (d)(e)(f).
A manufacturing defect is based on a defect that occurred during the manufacturing process. Many industrial companies have been involved in this kind of product liability lawsuits in recent years, due to defective machinery.
Most manufacturing defect cases are based on a products deviation from the intended specification, formula, performance standards, or design model. In such cases, it may be easy to determine the product did not comply with the intended design.
The product may be recalled as a specific lot is identified as being non-compliant and defective. A product may be defective in manufacture or construction, materials and assembly, and a manufacturer or distributor may be subject to strict liability, even though it exercised all possible care. Ohio Revised Code 2307.74.
In determining whether a machine or tool is defective due to inadequate warning or instruction, evidence must be presented to prove:
The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured workers and plaintiffs against companies due to a defective machine or malfunctioning machinery to obtain just compensation under the law.