Woman says defective aerial lift led to wrongful death of husband during tree removal work

By Nicholas Malfitano | Feb 15, 2017

PHILADELPHIA – A Pennsylvania woman recently filed litigation against the manufacturer of an aerial lift and a trucking equipment company, claiming the lift they designed and sold was responsible for the untimely death of her husband during his tree removal job.

Carol A. Shaud (acting as Administratrix of the Estate of Michael D. Shaud) of Macungie filed suit on Feb. 9 in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, versus Altec Industries, Inc. and Altec, Inc. of Birmingham, Ala., Altec Corporation of Philadelphia, plus Mickey’s Truck & Equipment Sales and Mickey’s Truck & Equipment Sales, Inc., both of Sugarloaf.

“On or about May 28, 2015, [Michael D.] Shaud was working as an employee for Shull’s Tree Service, Inc., at a property located at or around 3523 September Drive, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. On that date, [Michael D.] Shaud was working with a team of two other men, utilizing a 1994 Altec LR III aerial lift attached to a GMC Topkick Chassis, to remove a tree at the subject location; immediately prior to the incident, [Michael D.] Shaud was on the ground gathering debris,” the suit says.

“Witness and employee Paul Willman, working to the rear of the vehicle, felt the vehicle shake uncharacteristically. Upon investigation, he found the boom arm had collapsed, ejecting the operator of the aerial lift bucket and violently striking [Michael D.] Shaud. Shaud died on site prior to the arrival of emergency personnel,” the suit continues.

The plaintiff believes the defendants designed, manufactured and sold a defective product without warning, and that the related negligence and liability associated with those actions led to her late husband’s death.

For charges of negligence and strict liability, plus under the Pennsylvania Survival Act, Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Act, the plaintiff is seeking compensatory damages in excess of $50,000, and a jury trial in this matter.

The plaintiff is represented by Robert J. Mongeluzzi, David L. Kwass and Elizabeth A. Bailey of Saltz Mongeluzzi Barrett & Bendesky, in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 170202423

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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