Unsafe Machine Lift
$3,100,000 judgment recovered by a 27 year old maintenance worker who used an unsafe lift machine to go up 12 feet from the floor.
A vertical lift machine, used to go up to 24 feet high to change light bulbs in high ceilings, was designed without a safety interlock to prevent its use unless the extra-long legs needed to stabilize it were in place. The machine was designed to be portable and capable of being wheeled through a common doorway.
However, with such a narrow base, the lift would be unstable. So, the manufacturer designed 6 foot long legs to extend from the base in order to stabilize the lift. The problem that the manufacturer failed to address is that the lift would go up to working height, even if the legs weren’t installed.
The jury found that designing this lift without an interlock, like elevator doors have, made the machine unsafe. The judgment will provide lifetime income for the worker’s lost wages and enough money for him to make a comfortable life.