A personal injury action was filed stemming from an accident in Nassau, in which a 30-year old man, during his employ as a groundskeeper with a school district, severed a portion of his left ring finger when the tailgate portion of a dump body installed on a 1996 Ford F-350 dump truck dropped on his finger.
The groundskeeper related that in the spring of 2003, he noticed that the tailgate of truck 23 began to swing back and forth and he could hear it banging as he drove the truck. He said the tailgate was popping off while he was driving, and the bottom part of the tailgate used to come out of the section that was clamped to hold it together. He also testified that, from the spring of 2004 until the day of his truck accident in April 2005, the tailgate fell off the truck on a daily basis and that he complained to school personnel about said situation, but nothing was done to remedy the alleged problem.
One of the third-party defendants wanted the claims of strict products liability dismissed because the facts show that the tailgate at issue was damaged prior to the groundskeeper’s accident and was subsequently profoundly modified and altered as a result of that damage thereby resulting in his injuries. That defendant also said that there was no evidence establishing a manufacturing or design defect in the tailgate.
Further, that Queens defendant pointed out that the groundskeeper worked with the truck on a daily basis from 1996 until his accident in 2005 and that he worked on the truck and with its tailgate for seven or eight years before he first complained about the tailgate.
In this case, the court found that the third-party defendant failed to submit proof establishing that the groundskeeper’s injuries were not caused by a manufacturing defect in the tailgate of the truck. The court said the defendant could have shown this by submitting direct evidence of tests, mechanical processes and inspections, instead of relying solely on the testimony of a person.
The Court pointed out that there was conflicting evidence presented regarding when the repairs as a result of the commercial truck accident were performed. The testimonies of various witnesses presented in court did not point out whether or not the additional accident occurred before or after the groundskeeper’s accident.
As the third-party defendant relied heavily in its argument that it is clear that it cannot be liable for injuries stemming from the performance of a tailgate that, in the wake of the tailgate accident and subsequent repairs, was so profoundly modified and altered before the accident as to simply cease.
Based on the evidence presented and the testimonies of witnesses, the court directed the third-party defendant to pay for the injuries sustained by the groundskeeper.
Suffering personal injuries caused by someone else and being involved in a lawsuit arising from those injuries is difficult for all. New York Car Accident Attorneys will stand by you and help see you through your case. These Attorneys can argue your side and make sure that you and your loved ones are compensated.
Stephen Bilkis & Associates with its NY Personal Injury Lawyers, has convenient offices throughout the New York Metropolitan area including Corona, NY. Our Attorneys can provide you with advice to guide you through situations where an injury resulted because of another’s negligence. Without our Attorneys, you may lose your rights which may cost you a significant amount of money.
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