PITTSBURGH – A ladder company has been sued for manufacturing an allegedly unsafe product, but it insists the man who fell was responsible for his own injuries.

Daniel Harris filed suit against Metallic Ladder Manufacturing Corp.; L.M. Colker Co. Inc., doing business as Colker Janitorial Supplies; and Bio-Vert LLC in the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas on July 26 citing strict liability and negligence,

According to the complaint, on Sept. 22, 2016, Harris was standing on a ladder and it “became disassembled” and he fell into shrubbery. Harris claims the pin assembly that was holding the ladder together was the cause of it buckling.

“Plaintiff’s employer, Expert Window Cleaning, purchased the ladder from defendants Colker and Bio-Vert in approximately 2013,” his complaint states.

As a result of his fall, the complaint states Harris injured his spine. He had to have surgery and has been unable to work. Harris states in the complaint that he may have to have additional surgeries and his earning capacity may be permanently diminished.

In its Aug. 31 answer, Metallic Ladder Manufacturing Corp. avers that “plaintiff’s injuries and damages, if any, were solely and proximately caused or contributed to by the failure of Daniel Harris to exercise ordinary care for his own safety and by the negligence of Daniel Harris and were not caused by or through any fault or negligence on the part of Metallic."

It alleges that the plaintiff's complaint fails to state a claim for relief.

Metallic denies the ladder Harris stood on was defective. However, its avers that if the ladder was defective, “such defect or deficiency did not relate to the design, manufacture, warnings or sale of the product, but was the result of abnormal use, abuse, improper maintenance, substantial alteration, change or modification, or other actions on the part of plaintiff or others for whom Metallic is not responsible.” 

Harris is represented by Robert B. Woomer of Woomer & Talarico LLC in Pittsburgh. Metallic is represented by J. Michael Kunsch of Sweeney & Sheehan.

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