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Third Party Equipment Manufacturer

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I was injured on the job about year ago and have been through three surgeries to date.
My injury was caused by a piece of equipment manufactured by an outside company. What happened was a 60.5 pound tank vent fell from 40 feet onto my right shoulder.
The vent in question was held on with stainless wire placed their by our maintenence people as the manufacturers pins that came with this vent were completely destroyed by the acid that is held in the tank. These pins are the ONLY
safety feature on this vent. After my injury, my company took the initiative and placed their own safety features on all other vents like this one in the plant.
The company who manufacturers this vent has changed nothing and continues to send these vents in with the small pins that cannot do the job of securing the vent properly.

My right shoulder had the acromian bone broken by this falling vent
and the bone has not healed correctly and problems can occur again at any time. For now, I am back to unrestricted full duty work and am not having any serious pain yet. I feel as though someone should be held accountable for this as I've suffered terribly over the past 13 months. This product was not designed safely and had just the one device to secure it properly. This manufacturer is well aware of the uses of this vent at my plant but changed nothing in the design of their product to make it safer.

Also, my plant was owned by another company who put this tank and vent in a few years back. The design of the vent is extremely assinine as it hinges to the back so it has no where else to fall but down if a problem occurs. Can any action be taken against this previous plant owner for accepting an idiotic design?

Finally, I live in Pa. and according to the law here, the issue is if the product could have been designed to eliminate or reduce the condition that caused my injury, to eliminate possible "human error". The "human error" is our guys having to try to compensate for the corroded pins that were sent with the wire.

Any help or advice is appreciated greatly.



ultimately you should speak with n experienced PA product liability attorney; product cases are often complicated and costly to try due to the need of the engineering and other expert testimony that is often required; and, cases such as presented often pose a number of problems that should candidly be discussed with the attorney. It sounds like you have gone through hell, but generally if only a "possibility" of future problems, then the future damages are not compensable; to be compensable, it generally would require medical testimony that the future problems are "probable". When that fact is added to the fact that in most states in third party actions the workers comp carrier has reimbursement rights from any settlement or verdict, the costs many times make such cases cost prohibitive. Moreover, virtually any time a product is modified before the injury, regardless of the reasons, that gives a product manfacturer a defense handed to them on a silver latter as to material product alteration; I understand the logic of why it altered, but expect product engineers to make every effort to twist that to their advantage. I say the above, not to talk you out of a claim, but to encourage you, as you talk to a lawyer to have a handle on some of the issues you might face.
good luck!
George Senteney

George H. Senteney

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