Man sues after falling from construction basket at junior college

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Feb. 11, 2009, 3:38am

MARSHALL -- In a construction basket 50 feet above ground, John Henry Jackson was applying plaster to a building at Tyler Junior College. He claims that without warning the telescopic handler started to shake and the chain extending the boom malfunctioned.

Jackson was dropped 30 feet, and alleges that his injuries were caused by defective and unreasonably dangerous equipment and that the telescopic handler had been improperly designed.

John Henry and Vivian Jackson filed suit against GEHL Company, PEER Chain Company and RSC Equipment Rental Inc. on Feb. 9 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

Leased by RSC, the telescopic handler was manufactured by GEHL with a chain designed and manufactured by PEER.

The plaintiffs argue that the telescopic handler and chain were defectively designed and unsafe for its intended purpose. A safer alternative design would have prevented the accident and was economically and technologically feasible through the "application of existing or reasonably achievable scientific knowledge," the plaintiffs state.

The complaint alleges the defendants "failed to give adequate warnings of the product's dangers that were known or by the application of reasonably developed human skill and foresight should have been known and/or failed to give adequate instructions and warnings to avoid such dangers."

Jackson alleges RSC, the rental company, is liable for failing to exercise ordinary care, improper and inadequate maintenance of the telescopic handler.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages for physical pain and mental anguish, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, physical and mental impairment, medical expenses, disfigurement, and loss of consortium, pre and post-judgment interest.

Jury trial is requested.

Longview attorneys Glenn A. Perry and J. Ryan Fowler of Sloan, Bagley, Hatcher and Perry Law Firm are representing the plaintiffs.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward will preside over the litigation.

Case No 2:2009cv00048

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