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Assembly line worker gets $400,000 for arm injuries

An assembly line worker sustained extensive injuries to his right arm when it was caught and mangled at a pinch point on the assembly line. The assembly line lacked barrier guards or a kill switch, either of which would have prevented the man’s injuries. As a result of the man’s injuries, he lost 80 percent of the use of arm.

Edmund J. Scanlan filed a product liability action against the manufacturer and installer of the assembly line, arguing that the assembly line’s failure to include a barrier guard or kill switch rendered it inherently unsafe and defective. During trial, the defendants argued that the worker caused his own injuries by operating the line incorrectly. Scanlan effectively countered this argument, demonstrating that because most assembly lines contain safety devices such as kill switches or barrier guards, the failure to include either of these items-both of which are inexpensive and easy to install-in this case was inexcusable and constituted an actionable design defect. Thus, the defendants settled the case for $400,000 before the case reached the jury.

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