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Forklift Drivers Should Look Where They’re Driving

February 24, 2016

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A jury in Philadelphia County recently came back with a defense verdict in a products lawsuit against a forklift company.
In <a href="http://blog.wcmlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Kovacevich-v.-Crown-Equipment.pdf" rel="">Kovacevich v. Crown Equipment</a>, the plaintiff was working as a salesman for the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market, when a coworker driving a Crown Equipment forklift drove into him. The coworker testified that he could not see the plaintiff because the load he was carrying with the forklift obscured his vision. Plaintiff argued that the design of the fork lift caused his accident.
Crown Equipment argued that their operation manual instructs drivers to “travel in the direction that gives them the best view and to look where they are driving.” Thus, because the coworker was operating the forklift in a matter where he could not see, it was not a design defect that caused plaintiff’s injury, but the negligence of his coworker.
Plaintiff cited economic damages of up to $3.1 million and demanded $5 million; however, the jury agreed with Crown Equipment, finding it not liable for plaintiff’s injuries.
Thanks to Konrad Krebs for his contribution to this post.

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