Faulty Equipment Is the Leading Cause of Wrongful Death Lawsuits
A startling number of wrongful death lawsuits are the result of equipment gone haywire. This may be due to manufacturing or design defects.
Albuquerque, NM (Law Firm Newswire) December 16, 2010 - “It’s surprising the number of wrongful death lawsuits that are brought as a result of run amok heavy equipment that killed someone. Often, the reason for the accident was due to a manufacturing or design defect, but it may also be the result of negligent maintenance or negligent equipment operation,” said Scott Atkinson, a New Mexico personal injury lawyer with the Atkinson Law Firm, LTD.
One example of a recent case involved a city parks department employee who was killed by a runaway lawnmower in 2003. The worker had every right to expect that the lawnmower was safe to use and that he knew or had been given the proper warnings about any potential risks of the product. “Really, who would have thought a lawnmower would take off and run over someone?” Atkinson asked.
What happened in that case was that the 6,000 pound mower had a defective parking brake, causing the cable, which was supposed to be completely covered with vinyl, to corrode and break. The operator had shut the machine down, completely shutting the engine off, and dismounted. Suddenly, the mower started to roll downhill. He tried to stop it and in the process, was run over.
In the ensuing wrongful death lawsuit, the maker of the mower was cited for selling a defective and unsafe product. Furthermore, the plaintiff stated they had also breached the implied warranty of merchantability. “Of course, the defense suggested the mower was fine and had just not been properly maintained. The long and short of this particular case was that a private settlement was reached out of court,” Atkinson said.
For those who have been involved in an accident with heavy machinery and there is some question about the equipment’s safety, design or maintenance, it’s best to discuss the case with a competent New Mexico injury lawyer. “You really need to know where you stand, what your rights are, how a case like this is put together and what you may expect in terms of compensation when all is said and done. Feel free to call me with any questions,” Atkinson said.
Atkinson Law Firm, LTD
9400 Holly Ave. NE, Bldg. 4
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87122
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