Ironworker claims faulty lift caused hand injury

David Yates Jul. 16, 2008, 7:00am

An ironworker is alleging that a defective machine trapped him in a manlift for 20 minutes and left his hands permanently injured, court documents say.

Kevin Heartfield Jr. claims the rented machine was defective and filed suit against the Hertz Equipment Rental Corp. on July 15 in Jefferson County District Court.

On March 24, Heartfield, a Zachary Construction employee, was injured while working as an ironworker at a construction site.

The lawsuit says Heartfield and another individual were using the Hertz-rented manlift when his hands were pinned and crushed between a monorail beam and the manlift's lever.

"Plaintiff alleges that he was trapped for approximately 20 minutes before he was untangled," the suit states. "Following the incident, plaintiff alleges that a (Hertz) … employee inspected the manlift and determined that a valve on the machine was defective. Plaintiff alleges that the defective condition of the manlift was a proximate cause of … his permanent injuries."

Heartfield accuses Hertz of negligence by failing to provide him with safe equipment to be used on the job site.

He is suing for past and future medical expenses, impairment, disfigurement, mental anguish and lost wages.

Heartfield is represented by Tommy Yeates of the Moore, Landrey law firm.

Judge Donald Floyd of the 172nd Judicial District has been assigned to the case.

Case No. 182-065

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