Lift Accident Kills Operator, Injures Three

A recent article from reported on a serious lift accident that resulted in the death of a 41-year-old aerial-lift operator, and caused three others to be injured. According to the article, one of the injured victims, a 75-year-old woman, filed suit on October 19, 2009 against Masonry Preservation Group, Inc., (MPG) of Merchantville, N.J., and First Presbyterian Church in Pennsylvania for the October 12, 2009 incident.

All injured victims were taken to local hospitals to receive treatment; however, the aerial-lift operator was pronounced dead at Hahnemann University Hospital. A witness to the accident reported that the lift operator using an aerial lift to fix loose masonry on First Presbyterian Church when the large wheel of the lift platform ran over a fiberglass and cement TV-cable box embedded in the sidewalk. Consequently, the heavy weight of the lift busted the cover of the cable box, significantly diminishing the lift’s stability, ultimately causing the lift to slowly fall. The falling lift collided with a streetlight, as well as a section of the roof of a nearby apartment building, and landed on a Verizon truck, all while the lift operator was still fastened to the bucket.

The 75-year-old woman who is pursuing litigation has been said to do so because she suffered a fractured vertebrae in her back, which is an injury that holds an unpredictable grasp on her future. The impact of the 125-foot boom that broke her left arm, crushed her elbow, and fractured her vertebrae, may cause permanent injury in the days to come. Her attorney stated, “from both a physical and emotional standpoint, her injures are substantial.”

Due to a pending investigation regarding whether or not accurate permits for the masonry work were obtained, or whether any violations were committed by the city Licenses and Inspections Department or the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration, the amount of damages being sought was not released. The outcome of this investigation may also reflect valuable information for the lift-operator who was killed by the same accident that injured the woman.

There is no doubting the severity of this recent lift accident, and although this incident took place in Pennsylvania, similar on-the-job accidents have been known to occur in New Jersey as well. If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury while at work, and you believe the injury was directly caused by the negligence of another individual or employee, you should contact a skilled New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney right away. At Lependorf & Silverstein, our lawyers have the legal knowledge and resources to protect the rights of any injury victim. Call us today for a free consultation of your work-related injury case.

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