JURY VERDICT: Plaintiff’s hand crushed in concrete block making machine
On June 21, 1996, a 38-year-old employee of the Angelus Block Company fell victim to a disastrous accident. The man had been employed by the company for 16 years and regularly worked on the company’s heavy equipment. On that auspicious day, he was removing small rocks and debris from a machine that created concrete blocks when the machine abruptly slammed down and crushed his hand.
The injuries to the worker’s hand were severe and required extensive hospitalization. He underwent four surgeries yet ultimately the man’s left hand was rendered useless. He hired Roger E. Booth and Richard B. Koskoff of The Law Offices of Booth & Koskoff to represent him in a lawsuit against his employer, the machine’s manufacturer, and the company who refurbished the machine.
The block-making machine was originally manufactured by the Columbia Machine Company and had recently been refurbished by Anderson Hydraulics. The plaintiff team primarily argued that when Anderson Hydraulic refurbished the machine, they used seals which were too small and thus prevented the machine’s hydraulic mechanism from securely holding the equipment’s upper weight. The Anderson Hydraulics had been the only one to refurbish this machine’s cylinders and this was, in fact, the very first use of the machine since it came back from Anderson Hydraulics.
During the trial, Anderson Hydraulics diverted responsibility for the accident to both the worker’s employer and the equipment’s manufacturer. The defendant argued that the manufacturer should have equipped the machine with a fail-safe device to activate in the event of a hydraulic failure and that the employer should have required the plaintiff to block up the machine before reaching into it as recommended by the machine’s operating manual. They furthermore argued that the defective cylinder may not have been refurbished by their team.
This case went to trial where the jury ultimately ruled in favor of the plaintiff. They awarded the plaintiff $1,551,223 gross, $1,519,823 net. The defendants initially filed a motion for new trial but later settled for $1,200,000 before hearings on motions.
When I met with Roger, he was honest, genuine, and straight-forward on how we would proceed. Roger took a leap of faith when taking this case. He trusted what I said to be true, and wasn’t afraid to proceed.
– Cynthia Mitchell
My family experienced a tremendous loss as a result of my father’s death. During the entire process of investigation and settlement of our case, we were treated with the utmost professionalism by the Booth & Koskoff attorneys and staff.
– Dale Magner
“Because of Roger’s experience and professionalism, I was able to focus on the others things I needed to do for my brother to care for him during this time. He was a godsend, and I would highly recommend Roger and his staff.”
– Penny Vincelli
“We felt lucky like we were referred to Booth & Koskoff by someone we trusted. Richard’s professionalism and tenacity showed that he definitely was in our court.”
– John Mahoney
The lawyers and staff at Booth & Koskoff were efficient, thorough, helpful and always available, even on weekends. I am very pleased with my overall experience, and I would recommend Booth & Koskoff to anyone who needs an excellent attorney.
– Keith Schultz
“Mr. Booth did an incredible job resolving the case for us, and we are very thankful for the successful ending to our lawsuit. Thank you for your hard work Mr. Booth. You will always be our family lawyer and friend.”
– Sam Kirakosyan
“From the moment I contacted Booth & Koskoff from my hospital bed to the eventual settlement of my case, I experienced nothing but outstanding assistance and representation.”
– Claire Rexon