Articles Posted in Construction Accidents

Understanding the limitations of Indiana personal injury law is essential. A lack of understanding can result in filing a claim that is a waste of time and money. A state appellate court recently dismissed a personal injury case that the court found was filed two years too late. According to the court’s opinion, in June 2016, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint for damages that he claimed he sustained on about June 6, 2012.

Evidently, the plaintiff was climbing an attic ladder in a residential home in order to repair a leak when the ladder collapsed. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant construction company that built and sold the home and was negligent in failing to ensure that the ladder was secure and properly installed. The defendant argued that the suit was barred by the applicable ten-year statute of repose. Similar to statutes of limitations, statutes of repose limit the time during which a claim can be filed. Yet, unlike statutes of limitations, statutes of repose are construed more strictly to provide a finite period of time during which the claim must be filed.

The defendant claimed that in July 2003, it entered into an agreement with the home’s original owners, agreeing to build and sell the home to the owners. The construction was completed around April 30, 2004, and the owners took possession of the home on May 7, 2004. The plaintiff argued that the claim was not founded on the “construction of an improvement to real property.”

The United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed a lower court’s decision against an Indiana man who lost his foot in a crane accident. The court agreed with the district court’s grant of summary judgment to the defendant in the case, which involved a plaintiff who was injured when a crane he had leased from the defendant allegedly malfunctioned and drove itself over his foot and leg. The courts ruled that the plaintiff failed to raise a material issue of fact to demonstrate the required element of causation in the man’s negligence claim. Based on the ruling, the victim of the accident will be unable to recover compensation for his injuries.

A Crane Owned by the Defendant Ran Over the Plaintiff’s Foot

The accident that led to the filing of Carson v. All Erection & Crane Rental Corporation occurred on September 20, 2012, as the plaintiff was working with another contractor to use a crane rented from the defendant to install wind turbines. According to the Seventh Circuit’s decision, the other contractor was behind the controls of the crane, when the plaintiff started to guide him across a road from in front of the crane. When the plaintiff signaled the other contractor to stop the crane, it stopped momentarily, but it lurched forward shortly afterwards and caused the plaintiff to fall in the vehicle’s path. The crane’s treads then crushed his right foot, which had to be amputated.

Post-Accident Inspection Finds Malfunctioning Electrical Components

After the accident, an employee of the defendant inspected the crane and discovered that there was an intermittent problem with the electronics that controlled the crane’s movement. The inspection revealed that the “travel detent” system, which is similar to cruise control in a passenger vehicle, would intermittently engage and cause the crane to drive forward on its own without any action by the operator. Based on the discovery of the defect and his serious injuries, the plaintiff filed a negligence lawsuit against the defendant, alleging that their failure to properly inspect the crane before delivering it to the plaintiff caused his injuries.

Continue reading