Forklift Operator’s Foot Amputated Due to Employer Negligence
On July 10, 2023, a young forklift operator was involved in a life-changing accident. While operating a Toyota stand-up forklift for Exel, a US logistics company, he suffered an injury that resulted in the amputation of his left foot and ankle. This devastating incident sparked a legal battle against Exel, raising questions about employer liability, training practices, and workplace safety protocols.
Our client is a trained forklift operator with expertise in using Crown forklifts. On the afternoon of the incident, he was tasked with transporting material using a Toyota stand-up forklift - a machine he was unfamiliar with at the time. Before beginning, our client received minimal training on the controls.
As he maneuvered the forklift, he had trouble controlling the vehicle. The forklift's speed of 7.5 mph, exceeding the recommended 6 mph, further complicated his handling of the machine.
In a split second, he lost control of the forklift. The forklift tipped over, pinning his left foot beneath its weight. The impact of the accident resulted in the amputation of his left foot and ankle.
VB Attorneys presented evidence that highlighted Exel's systemic negligence in forklift safety. The 70 forklift incidents at the facility in the preceding year and the absence of hazard assessments demonstrated Exel's failure to prioritize employee safety. Additionally, there was a missing clip on the forklift designed to secure paperwork. This further showed Exel's disregard for safety protocols.
Our team identified and argued 3 points that proved Exel’s negligence:
Inadequate Training: Our client's lack of familiarity with the Toyota forklift's controls, stemming from insufficient training, played a significant role in the accident.
Excessive Speed: The forklift's speed of 7.5 mph, surpassing the recommended 6 mph, exacerbated the situation, making it more challenging for him to maintain control.
Failure to Follow Safety Protocols: The absence of hazard assessments and the missing clip on the forklift, designed to secure paperwork, further shows Exel's disregard for safety procedures.
Employers bear a fundamental responsibility to ensure the well-being of their employees, and Exel's negligence in this regard had severe consequences for our client.
After the trial, our client was awarded significant compensation. We are proud of the outcome and are grateful to have been able to help our client secure justice.
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