Plaintiff says he suffered severe injuries from removing salvage yard's 1,200-pound metal gate

By Nicholas Malfitano | Jan 25, 2018

PITTSBURGH – A salvage yard and its owner are being taken to state court on accusations of negligence, after a plaintiff on the yard’s premises suffered severe leg injuries in an accident two years ago.

William Everetts of Emlenton filed suit in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas on Jan. 12 versus Kennedy Diversified, Inc. and John Kennedy, both of Slippery Rock.

On Jan. 19, 2016, the plaintiff was at the yard to repair and install metal fencing around the property, in particular, a fence post that defendant Kennedy hit and damaged with a vehicle. While there, Kennedy is said to have demanded that Everetts and a co-worker, Richard Shoaff, remove an eight-foot tall, 35-foot long and approximately 1,200-pound free-standing metal gate, which can be moved along a track – and which was not the intended purpose of the plaintiff’s professional visit.

“Although plaintiff did not want to remove the gate, he suggested that if it had to be removed, then it should be secured to defendants’ pay loader machine in order to stabilize it and ensure it did not fall. Defendant John Kennedy rejected that idea, refused to allow plaintiff to execute that plan, and insisted the gate be taken off the track and held in position by hand. Upon removing the gate, plaintiff was positioned in the middle of the gate with his co-worker on one end and an employee of defendants on the other. Shortly after removing it, defendants’ employee failed to maintain a hold of the gate, and the gate violently fell directly onto plaintiff, resulting in serious injuries,” the suit states.

Everetts maintains the defendants were negligent in refusing to allow him and his co-worker to remove the gate in their preferred, safer way, in demanding they hold up the gate themselves and providing a premises that was unsafe for use, among other charges.

As a result, the plaintiff allegedly suffered left tibia and fibula fractures requiring open reduction and internal fixation surgery; severe left leg soft tissue damage; left leg nerve damage; persistent pain and swelling; trouble sleeping due to pain, plus bruises, contusions and other injuries.  

For negligence, the plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of the jurisdictional limits for compulsory arbitration, plus court costs, interest and such other and further relief as the Court may deem just and equitable, in addition to a trial by jury.

The plaintiff is represented by Jesse A. Drumm of Friday & Cox, in Pittsburgh.

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas case GD-18-000607

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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