Wrongful Discharge Case Becomes A Product Liability Case

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A heavy equipment mechanic worked for a large plant for more than 25 years. One day, while working on a front loader, the engine compartment hood suddenly and unexpectedly fell onto his head and shoulder. He sustained serious injuries. The employer blamed the worker for unsafe practices and sought to terminate him. The mechanic contended he had done nothing wrong. The mechanic came to us. He believed he was being wrongfully terminated.

F.J. Collins conducted a full investigation and determined the mechanic was right – he had not done anything wrong. However, the manufacturer of the front loader had installed a new hood lifting system, which needed to be secured with a special rod, but the manufacturer failed to modify its owner’s manual. On the day the mechanic was injured, the hood lifting system failed and, without the rod in place, the hood came crashing down on him. F.J. Collins filed a claim for, and recovered Workers Compensation benefits for, the mechanic. Mr. Collins also brought an action against the front loader’s manufacturer and secured a sizable settlement for the injured mechanic.

The mechanic, who would not have been successful in a wrongful termination action, was successful in recovering damages and securing medical treatment because of Mr. Collin’s thorough investigation and recognition of where the fault lay and what the best options were.