Worker Receives $56 Million After Power Hose Injury
It took six years of litigation to recover $56 million in damages for an injured worker who suffered severe burn injuries as a result of the failure of an industrial power cleaner. According to the lawsuit, a connector came loose causing the hose to spray 180-degree water all over the victim. The incident occurred in 2014. The plaintiff was cleaning a warehouse floor when the connector failed and sprayed him with scalding water.
The plaintiff spent about 6 weeks in the hospital suffering burns over 40% of his body. The jury assigned 85% of the blame to the manufacturer of the hose and another 15% of the blame to the brewery he was cleaning. Since litigation began in 2016, the plaintiff is also set to receive another $21 million in accrued interest.
It is unclear if the hose manufacturer will appeal the verdict, which is very high. However, with a jury verdict on his side, the plaintiff has considerable leverage to forestall an appeal that would just accrue more interest if the defendants lose again.
Elements of negligence
The product failed and caused severe injury, so that’s about as much as you need to prove to win a case against a product manufacturer. So long as the product wasn’t being misused, altered, or otherwise tampered with, the plaintiff has a strong case based solely on the fact that they were using the product in a way that could be readily anticipated by the manufacturer and were injured as a result of that use. So, the product backfired, caused a severe injury, and the manufacturer is liable. Case closed.
Second, you have the brewery that likely provided the equipment to the worker. If so, that explains why they were held 15% liable. The brewery has a duty of care to ensure the safety of those who they invite onto the premises to do work and hence were held liable for not catching the problem before it caused injury. In other words, they furnished the plaintiff with a defective device and that device caused injury.
Analyzing the defense
If you can’t blame the victim, then find someone else to blame. In a case like this, the two defendants have the option of presenting a unified defense or blaming each other. In cases like this where it’s hard to pin the blame on the victim, the defendants will pin the blame on each other. The manufacturer will claim that a failure to maintain the hose resulted in the preventable injury while the brewery will claim that the hose had a manufacturing or design defect, and thus the hose manufacturer is liable.
Talk to a Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you’ve been injured by a defective device, call the Tampa personal injury attorneys at The Matassini Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can recover damages related to your medical expenses, lost wages, and reduced quality of life.