Widow Awarded $4.2 Million In Workplace Accident Case

Widow Awarded $4.2 Million In Workplace Accident Case

A Portland federal jury awarded the widow of a man killed during a forklift accident at work $4.2 million in damages.

Thomas Brown was 48-years-old on August 1, 2003, when he backed up under a shelving unit and became pinned between the shelf and the forklift’s console. He subsequently suffocated to death.

The lawsuit, which was filed by his widow, Claire Brown, claimed that the accident was caused by a defect in the forklift’s design and could have been prevented had Crown Equipment Corp., the truck’s manufacturer, provided users with adequate safety information and warnings.

According to Terrence Garmey, attorney for Brown’s widow, Crown knew about at least 10 other deaths and 90 serious injuries associated with the defective forklift. However, Garmey said that the manufacturer never informed users of ways to make the truck safer.

The jury ruled that a design flaw had contributed to Brown’s death and awarded his widow both economic and non-economic damages. Because the state of Maine limits damage awards, the verdict will be reduced to approximately $1.5 million.

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