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PA Industrial Machinery Accident - Can you Sue Machine Manufacturer?



*Updated November 6, 2015

Workers are often injured while at work in PA and NJ.  One type of work related injury is an industrial machinery accident.  Machine operators may sustain crush injuries or finger amputations while working on a machine.  Below is a question from an injured machine operator in PA inquiring about his legal rights after an industrial machinery accident.

Question: After I got hurt by a machine at work in a factory in the suburbs of PA, my employer made several changes to the machine that injured me.  What are my legal rights?  Can I sue the machine manufacturer?  Is it still possible to sue the machine manufacturer even though the machine has changed? Will I be able to sue my employer?

A: First and foremost, you may file a workers’ compensation claim for your injuries sustained while at work.  In Pennsylvania, an injured worker cannot sue his/her employer for work related injuries even if the employer was negligent.  There are very limited exceptions to this rule, and we would need to know the facts surrounding your accident. 

Secondly, you may file a lawsuit against the machine manufacturer if the machine was defective and led to your accident.  These types of lawsuit are known as products liability lawsuits. 

See our industrial machinery case result - Multi-million dollar settlement for our client who sustained an arm injury on an industrial machine

Even though your employer made changes to the machine, you may still file a lawsuit.  Many times, after a work injury, we find that the employer modifies the machine so other employees are not injured.  Sometimes, the machines are even replaced. Nevertheless, you may still sue the machine manufacturer because your case is based on the condition of the machine when it was first sold. The main issue in a products liability case is whether the machine, as originally designed, manufactured and sold, contained any element making it unsafe or whether it lacked any element necessary to make it safe.

Feel free to call our office to schedule a FREE consultation.  Pennsylvania products liability cases are very complex, and it is best to speak to a lawyer who is experienced in handling industrial machinery accidents.  877.944.8396

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