IADC members Robert (Bobby) H. Hood, Bobby Hood, Jr., and Jamie Hood, along with their local counsel and IADC member Stephen Coxhead (of Fowler White Burnett), obtained a defense verdict in a wrongful death claim for the manufacturer of an aerial lift truck. The case was tried before the Honorable Jorge E. Cueto in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The Plaintiffs were represented by David Deehl of Deehl PLLC in Miami, Florida. The Plaintiff was a 33-year-old tree trimmer who on April 22, 2008, tested an aerial lift that was being repaired and maintained. During the test operation of the unit, the unit crashed down from an elevated position resulting in the death of the operator. The Plaintiffs consisted of the widow of the operator and his six (6) minor children. The Plaintiffs claimed that the aerial lift was defective because it failed to have a mechanical break at the elbow of the boom which could have prevented this accident. The team was able to prove that the aerial lift was not defective and did not cause the operator’s death; rather, it was his failure to follow the proper instructions as outlined in the maintenance manual and the warning decals that caused this accident.
After a week trial, the jury returned a defense verdict.