Lawsuit: Scissors lift unsafe, caused worker's arm to be impaled

By Nicholas Malfitano | Jul 31, 2017

PITTSBURGH – Along with his wife, a man whose arm was impaled by a rod while operating a scissors lift has sued the company the lift belonged to, claiming it was an unsafe machine.

Herbert H. Humphreys and Lisa Humphreys of Finleyville filed suit in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas on May 23 versus California Pools & Granite, Inc., of Coal Center.

“On or about June 18, 2015, at approximately 10:30 a.m., the husband plaintiff was employed to install certain fire and security equipment at premises located at 123 Seventh Street, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County. At said date and place, the husband plaintiff was supplied a certain Smelk scissors lift by the defendant, California Pools. As the plaintiff was operating the Smelk scissors lift supplied to him by the defendant, he attempted to stop its ascent by working the proper control but was unable to stop the same, as a result of which his left arm was pinned between a threaded rod extending down from the ceiling and a portion of the scissors lift, causing his arm to be penetrated by the rod and causing serious injuries and damages to the plaintiffs,” the suit says.

The Humphreys believe California Pools failed to inspect, maintain, repair or warn of the dangerous and defective condition presented by the scissors lift machine, and the injuries it was capable of causing.

According to the lawsuit, Herbert Humphreys suffered “a laceration wound of his left upper extremity at or near the elbow requiring surgical closure; soft tissue injury to the area of the left arm punctured by the threaded rod as aforesaid, including the muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, nerves, vessels and other tissue thereof; permanent disfiguring and scarring of his left arm; and shock and attendant nervous disorder.” 

Lisa Humphreys also brought action for a claim of loss of consortium as to her husband.

For negligence, the plaintiffs are each seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus costs, interest and the demand of a jury trial.

The plaintiffs are represented by Richard H. Galloway of Galloway Monzo, in Greensburg.

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas case GD-17-007832

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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