June 12, 2018, PLLR News
Asphalt melter’s defective jacking system leads to worker’s catastrophic injuries
The plaintiffs sued the companies that designed and manufactured the melter. Suit alleged that the machine’s jack connection process was inherently unsafe because the jack could be detached too easily. The plaintiffs claimed the jack should have been permanently bolted to the machine. The jury awarded $8.25 million. Goodrich v. Cimline, Inc.
Brian Goodrich owned an asphalt business and had a Cimline MAGMA 110 Asphalt Melter/Applicator. The heavy asphalt melter had a permanently attached tongue-jack assembly—consisting of a free-standing jack and a mounting bracket called a pivot mount—to raise the machine for routine maintenance, including oil changes. While Goodrich was performing work on the melter using a replacement jack to elevate the front of the machine, the jack slipped unexpectedly, crushing Goodrich’s skull. He suffered disfiguring injuries to his face and skull, blindness in one eye, serious cognitive injuries, and lost sexual function.
Goodrich, his wife, and their two daughters sued Garlock Equipment Co., alleging negligent manufacture of the melter, and Cimline, Inc., alleging negligent design of the melter. The plaintiffs also alleged breach of the warranty of merchantability against the defendants. The plaintiffs claimed that the melter’s jack connection process was inherently unsafe because the jack could be detached too easily, and safe reattachment was subject to human error. Additionally, the plaintiffs asserted that the jack should have been permanently bolted to the machine.
The jury awarded $8.25 million.
Citation: Goodrich v. Cimline, Inc., No. 4:15-CV40030-TSH (D. Mass. Apr. 11, 2018).
Plaintiff counsel: John T. Martin, Boston.