Articles Tagged with defective vehicles

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Many work injury situations exist wherein a workers’ compensation attorney may seek to maximize a client’s recovery from job-related injuries by examining whether we might apply a broader liability theory, such as product liability. We don’t need to limit claims to the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system because often, a dangerous product – such as a defective machine, tool or vehicle – is to blame. In many cases, we can keep the workers’ compensation claim intact while also pursuing a product liability claim against the defective product manufacturer. product liability

Third-party recovery may be initiated by either the worker or the workers’ compensation insurer under MGL c. 152 section 15. (Insurers must wait at least seven months to initiate a claim, while the worker can file immediately.)

The product liability attorneys at The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman have the resources and experience to pursue both workers’ compensation and third-party liability claims, in particular those that stem from cases wherein product defects are responsible for on-the-job injuries. These can include cases of defective:

  • Industrial equipment
  • Dollies
  • Warehouse vehicles
  • Mobile warehouse storage-shelving units
  • Vehicles/ vehicle parts (tires, airbags, brakes, seat belts)
  • Forklifts
  • Scissor lifts
  • Ladders/ scaffolding
  • Cleaning equipment
  • Power tools

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Tesla Motors has come under fire in the last year after a series of collisions – one fatal – that involved the use of its Autopilot assisted driving system. The question is whether Tesla improperly deployed and marketed this system, which despite the name still does require substantial involvement from the driver. steering wheel

The aggressive “beta-test” of its Autopilot self-driving technology forced government regulators to step in, with input from other car manufacturers, to consider how human drivers should interact with increasingly more sophisticated vehicles and whether the advancements were simply too much too soon. A recent analysis by Consumer Reports magazine urged Tesla to disable the automatic steering feature until either the software is updated to require drivers’ hands on the steering wheel or else until no driver involvement is required at all.

CNN reported federal auto safety investigators with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) cleared Tesla of having an inherent vehicle defect resulting in a fatal car accident in Florida in which Autopilot system was engaged, but failed to detect an oncoming white tractor-trailer against the brightness of the mid-day sky. The Autopilot system was built to keep a vehicle in its own lane, and the car is capable of braking on its own. The feature is designed to be used on limited access highways with on- and off-ramps and not, as decedent driver was using it, on roadways where cars or trucks can cross in front of the Tesla.  Continue reading

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A Texas woman was awarded nearly $16 million against a Rhode Island company after she became quadriplegic after a utility vehicle ran her over while she was working on her family’s farm. ward1

The $15.8 million verdict is reportedly the highest personal injury damage award doled out in the federal U.S. Western District of Texas, though plaintiff will reportedly only receive about half of that due to a finding of 50 percent contributory negligence. Based on Texas’ modified comparative fault with a 51 percent bar (the same standard used in Massachusetts), that was almost enough to prohibit collection of any damages at all.

According to court records in Nestor v. Textron, Inc., the accident involved a vehicle called the E-Z-Go Workhorse cart. It looks something like a golf cart, but it’s designed to haul material. It was December 2011 and plaintiff was working alone on the ranch, using the vehicle to help her with feeding and moving livestock around the property. Plaintiff alleges that she stopped at a gate to open it. She took her foot off the accelerator, which stopped the engine. However, as she was opening the gate with her back to the vehicle, one of the cubes of cattle feed fell onto the acceleration pedal. The engine started. The vehicle thrust forward. The force knocked her to the ground and the vehicle ran her over. As a result, she is now paralyzed from the neck down.  Continue reading