Deana Carpenter Aug. 2, 2016, 8:01am


PHILADELPHIA — After allegedly falling from a ladder he purchased at a Home Depot store, Jeffrey Nein has filed a lawsuit against a range of defendants.

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Home Depot USA Inc. and Home Depot Inc. are named as a defendants in the suit. Nein has also named Tricam Industries Inc., Tricam Industries, Asia Ltd., Gorilla Ladders and Zhejiang Sopop Industrial Co. Ltd.

Nein alleges in the complaint filed July 11 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania that there was a breach of the ladder’s implied warranty, design defects, insufficient measures taken to prevent injuries, negligence and product liability.

Stephen Holmes, director of corporate communications for Home Depot, would not comment on the case specifically.

“I can tell you that we don’t manufacture ladders,” Holmes told the Pennsylvania Record.

Nein claims in his suit that the defendants manufactured and distributed ladders that had design defects that could have caused injuries to those using them.

The plaintiff alleges in his complaint that on July 23, 2014, he sustained physical injuries to his left wrist and arm when the ladder collapsed under him.

He holds the defendants responsible because he alleges that the defendants were already aware the ladders were faulty.

Nein alleges the defendants failed to provide adequate warning to consumers about the harm their products could potentially cause. He also alleges that the companies did not take any steps to make sure their ladders did not collapse.

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, which according to its website acts as the “statewide voice of business,” could not comment specifically on Nein’s case, but its president, Gene Barr, offered up a statement.

“Unfortunately, it is common to see civil lawsuits with multiple named defendants alleging fault for certain injuries,” Barr told the Pennsylvania Record.

Barr said that in the search for the deep pocket to pay out a claim, a company only minimally at fault can bear a disproportionate and unfair burden of paying an inequitable award.

“This is the reason why our organization worked for years on reforming joint and several liability here in Pennsylvania," Barr said. "Prior to the enactment of the Fair Share Act in 2011, a defendant found minimally at fault in a litigation could be forced to pay 100 percent of the judgment in the event those primarily responsible were unable to pay."

The situation prior to the passage of the 2011 law often led members of the plaintiffs bar to seek many deep-pockets defendants in the hopes they would settle and not risk being tagged with a significant judgment when they were minimally liable, he said.

Nein is requesting a jury trial and is seeking judgment against the defendants in an amount exceeding $150,000 plus interest and court costs. Nein is represented by Arthur Bugay of Galfand Berger LLP in Philadelphia.

 

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