Two lawsuits were filed in New Orleans federal court this month over an industrial accident which killed one longshoreman and seriously injured another. On January 3, 2011, Bridget Bertrand filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Linde Material Handling North America Corp., Titan International Inc., ABC Insurance Co., DEF Insurance Co., Mi-Jack Products Inc., and XYZ Insurance Co. In her suit, Bertrand alleges her husband Shawn was killed on February 25, 2011 while performing maintenance on a Linde Reach stacker for Ceres Gulf, Inc. in the company’s New Orleans Terminal. In her lawsuit, Bertrand alleges her husband was killed after the interior mechanism of the stacker’s rim assembly locking ring failed and shot the tire assembly at him.
Bertrand has accused the defendants of failure to warn and improper equipment design. She alleges her husband’s accident was wholly avoidable and seeks damages both individually and on behalf of the couple’s minor daughter. Bertrand seeks compensation for her husband’s funeral and medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, loss of support, consortium and love, attorney’s fees, and other penalties.
The following day, Wayne and Pamela Strecker filed a lawsuit against the same defendants in connection with the accident. Their lawsuit alleges Wayne Strecker was severely injured and sustained numerous broken bones in the same accident that killed Bertrand. According to Strecker, a tire exploded off of its axle after internal parts on the Linde Reach stacker failed.
The Streckers have accused the defendants of failing to properly design the stacker, failure to warn, negligence, and strict products liability. The couple has asked the court to compensate them for loss of earning capacity, benefits, wages, consortium, and love and affection. They are also seeking damages for disability, medical expenses, and interest.
Many deaths each year are the result of tragic and unnecessary events such as workplace accidents. Losing someone you love is always devastating, but it can be especially shocking when the death was the result of an avoidable accident. When a death or serious injury occurs at a place of employment, an at-fault third-party may be sued for damages beyond those available under state workers’ compensation laws. In many cases of wrongful death, certain family members may have a claim for damages against the party who caused the fatal injuries. An experienced personal injury lawyer can answer your questions and help you file your claim.