Suit alleging U-Haul employee's forklift crash caused injury thrown out

By Kyla Asbury | Jul 5, 2018

HARRISBURG — The Superior Court of Pennsylvania agreed with a trial court that an employee of McGrath Technical Staffing could not bring a lawsuit against U-Haul for work injuries because of an agreement signed with his employer, according to a June 22 opinion.

HARRISBURG — The Superior Court of Pennsylvania agreed with a trial court that an employee of McGrath Technical Staffing could not bring a lawsuit against U-Haul for work injuries because of an agreement signed with his employer, according to a June 22 opinion.

Marc Matranga, who worked in a temporary position for U-Haul Co. of Pennsylvania's Falls Manufacturing Co. through McGrath Staffing, appealed a decision from the Common Pleas Court of Philadelphia County, where a judge granted summary judgment in favor of U-Haul.

According to the opinion written by Superior Court Judge Anne Lazarus, McGrath had a contract with U-Haul that stated that if a McGrath employee suffered a workplace injury, that employee could not sue U-Haul.

Matranga claimed that when he was injured at the U-Haul facility, he had been holding an electrical line out of the way when a U-Haul employee operating a forklift crashed into steel frames, which fell on him.


Judge Anne Lazarus   PA Courts

The accident caused Matranga severe and permanent injuries, according to his suit, which was filed on March 31, 2015.

U-Haul asked the court to grant summary judgment in its favor on Sept. 6, 2016, citing the contract as the basis for its argument against Matranga's claims.

Matranga alleged that he did not waive his right to file claims against U-Haul, according to the opinion.

"Specifically, he asserts that the contract was not the same one that he was given and signed, that U-Haul was not the party released in the document, that his signature on the contract was procured under duress and that U-Haul failed to plead waiver of release as an affirmative defense in its answer to the complaint," Lazarus said in the opinion. "We disagree."

The Superior Court said it was Matranga's duty to read the contract in full before signing it and that he was not forced to sign it.

The Superior Court panel also included judges Jack Panella and Eugene Strassburger III. Strassburger did not agree with the majority opinion.

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