Tree Trimmer Suffers Fatal Fall from Faulty Aerial Lift Device

Synopsis

An experienced tree trimmer suffered a fatal injury when the lift bucket in which he was working flipped over and caused him to fall while he was trimming trees. A chain in the lift mechanism had broken, causing the bucket to tip over.

Plaintiff's Allegations

On September 28, 2011, Carlos Amezcua, an experienced tree trimmer with Davey Tree Surgery, was killed when the truck mounted lift bucket in which he was working tipped over, causing him to fall headfirst to the ground. Mr. Amezcua was a devoted father, husband and grandfather, in addition to being his family's primary breadwinner.

The Amezcua family proved that the lift's leveling chain was not properly sized or lubricated. In addition, the company that designed and built the boom bore liability for manufacturing a boom with an unreliable chain, for failing to design a failsafe mechanism, and for failing to recommend sufficient maintenance requirements to Mr. Amezcua's employer.

Defendants' Allegations

The defendants contested liability and argued that Mr. Amezcua's failure to wear his safety harness caused his death.

Injuries

Mr. Amezcua was killed as the result of injuries he sustained when he fell from the bucket.

Result

The Amezcua family settled with several defendants for a total of $2.92 million.