Pennsylvania Record

Monday, September 16, 2019

Philly forklift operator who suffered crushed and amputated left leg sues for damages


By Nicholas Malfitano | Oct 10, 2018

PHILADELPHIA – A forklift operator whose leg was crushed at the warehouse where he worked and later required amputation has sued a number of commercial defendants for legal damages associated with that injury.

George Thomas of Philadelphia filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on June 29 versus a group of defendants that includes Sysco, Omnilift and Turner Construction. 

On July 1, 2016, Thomas was working as a forklift operator at a warehouse controlled by Sysco and Sysco Philadelphia, located at 600 Packer Avenue in Philadelphia. Thomas started his shift at 7 a.m. and was due to work until 3:30 p.m., finding himself working in the dry goods section of the warehouse at approximately 2 p.m.

“As he was operating the forklift, which forklift was designed, manufactured, supplied and/or placed in the stream of commerce by defendants Crown and/or Omnilift, in aisle DY of the dry goods section of the warehouse, and after placing a load of goods onto the racks, he began to back up, at which point the forklift he was operating struck a concrete and/or metal pole/support beam, crushing his left leg, which ultimately required the amputation of the leg,” the suit states.

According to the plaintiff, the defendants failed to inspect or repair the hazardous conditions present for forklift operators in the warehouse, allowed dangerous conditions, such as the design of and obstructions in the aisles to exist and allowed latent and dangerous hidden conditions to exist on the premises, in addition to other allegations.

For multiple counts of negligence and strict liability, the plaintiffs are seeking damages jointly and/or severally, in excess of $50,000.

The plaintiffs are represented by Leon Aussprung, James E. Hockenberry and Laura A. Walker of the Law Offices of Leon Aussprung and Jeffrey F. Laffey and Paul V. Bucci II of Laffey Bucci & Kent, all in Philadelphia.

The full list of defendants is: George Avalotis of Verona, Leo A. Daly Company of Omaha, Neb., Frazier Industrial Co. of Long Valley, N.J., Omnilift, Inc. of Warminster, Sysco Corporation of Houston, Texas, Sysco Philadelphia, LLC of Philadelphia, Turner Construction Company of New York, N.Y., Crown Equipment Corporation of New Bremen, Ohio, Material Handling Supply, Inc. of Pennsauken, N.J., Madison Construction Company of Malvern plus Central Metals, Inc. and Roma Steel Erection of Camden, N.J.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 180603736

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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Organizations in this Story

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Sysco Corporation Turner Construction

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