When heavy construction machinery is operated incorrectly, it puts the safety of everyone in the area in jeopardy. However, some construction equipment has design and product defects that cause the equipment to function unsafely.
For example, we uncovered a pattern of violent incidents involving backhoe loaders. The backhoe loader is probably the most versatile and popular piece of heavy machinery used throughout the world by construction companies, farmers and even the weekend do-it-yourself handyman. Backhoe loaders are most commonly used to dig trenches for water pipes, sewer pipes and underground utilities. They are powerful machines with a giant digging arm that swings fast and with immense force.
We uncovered repeated instances of a backhoe operator, helper or bystander being killed or seriously injured when crushed between the machine body and the swinging boom, digging arm or bucket of a backhoe because the swing lever or pedal was inadvertently activated by an ordinary worksite item. These items included a toolbox, orange cones, shovel, chain, power saw, roto-hammer, lunch pail, water jug, pipe fittings, road sign and more. This has resulted in design and warning changes such as pedal guards, improved boom locks, hydraulic shutoff switches, and improved warning decals.
Our lawyers have represented individuals who were injured because of other dangerous equipment, including: