This week a carpet mill worker at the Beaulieu plant in Murray County, Georgia, was injured falling into a tufting machine. He was airlifted to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.
Workers compensation provides the exclusive remedy of an injured worker against the employer in work accidents.
However, sometimes an injured worker can recover additional compensation for an injury from a third party, such as an equipment manufacturer. Since Georgia law was changed in 2005 to require apportionment of damages among both parties and non-parties to a lawsuit, that has been made more difficult as an equipment manufacturer can try to shift more blame to an employer’s negligent maintenance, training and supervision.
However, every case is different. Over the years we have successfully represented workers injured by carpet mill machinery, poultry processing equipment, commercial bakery equipment, plastic extrusion machines, wood chippers, forklift trucks, and a wide variety of other industrial and commercial equipment.
Manufacturers of industrial equipment may be liable to injured workers under legal doctrines including negligent design; failure to adequately test and inspect;failure to provide adequate instructions, warnings and labels; and failure to issue an adequate recall notice.
In one carpet mill case we handled, the manufacturer of a laminating machine had installed an emergency stop cord switch backwards — contrary to instructions from the switch manufacturer — and failed to install any safety stop cord on the side of the machine where a worker was most likely to fall in.
Ken Shigley is president-elect designee of the 41,000 member State Bar of Georgia. He has long litigated cases throughout his native northwest Georgia and holds the record for the largest jury verdict in Gordon County. Mr. Shigley’s law practice focuses on representing people who are catastrophically injured, and families of those killed, primarily in products liability, trucking and bus accidents, catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, brain injury, spinal cord injury and burn injury cases. He is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, has been listed as a "Super Lawyer" (Atlanta Magazine), among the "Legal Elite" (Georgia Trend Magazine), and in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers (Martindale).
For criteria to be considered in selecting an attorney, see The Smart Consumer’s Guide to Hiring a Great Lawyer.