Case Conclusion Date: April 15, 2008
Practice Area: Defective / Dangerous Products
Outcome: $2,991,337 Verdict for Plaintiff
Description: The award reflects lost wages, past medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost future earning capacity, lost enjoyment of life and loss of consortium. Dallas W. Hartman represented Thomas and Roxana Altman in a suit against Bobcat Co., a business unit of Clark Equipment Co. and Leppo Inc. According to federal court papers, Thomas Altman was employed by FirstEnergy in July 2003, when he sustained a severe closed-head injury. Altman, then 47, was walking near a Bobcat backhoe/loader at Lake Wilhelm in Mercer County when the operator inadvertently pushed the hydraulic control. This made the backhoe boom swing around and strike Altman in the head, causing severe and permanent injuries. Hartman argued the accident was the result of Bobcat's negligent design. Other earth-mover manufacturers provide safeguards in the form of boxes or rails around the controls so they can not be inadvertently hit by operators. Hartman noted five doctors, including two representing the defendants, testified that Altman suffered "horrific brain injury that caused permanent and catastrophic injury."