Lawsuit over fatal boom lift accident coming to Pennsylvania

By Marian Johns | Feb 22, 2019

KANSAS CITY, Kan.  — The U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas has denied the request of Pennsylvania-based JLG Industries Inc. to dismiss a lawsuit against the lift and equipment manufacturer that was filed by the family of a worker who was crushed in an aerial boom lift accident in Missouri. 

In Renee Teresa Goellner-Grant, Kyle D. Grant and Alexander Goellner v. JLG Industries Inc., the court ruled the lawsuit filed by the wife and children of Randall Grant, who died in a 2015 aerial boom lift accident, will not be dismissed, but instead will be transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. 

The lawsuit, originally filed in Missouri state court, where the court deemed it did not have personal jurisdiction over the defendant, JLG Industries, due to the aerial boom being shipped to Kansas, and dismissed the case.

The case was refiled in a Kansas federal court, which JLG Industries argued also does not have personal jurisdiction because the only Kansas connection to the case is the lift being originally shipped to the state. However, the plaintiffs asked for "jurisdictional discovery" before deciding on the motion.

The court found that the District of Kansas is "a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omission giving rise to the claim occurred." However, the court stated it "does not find that delivery of the lift to Kansas is material to the incident 13 years later, in Missouri, that is the subject of this case." 

The court stated that because the case involves "strict liability, negligence and wrongful death claims" regarding an incident that took place in Missouri but is based on a lift that was designed and manufactured in Pennsylvania, the case should be moved to the U.S. District Court for Middle District of Pennsylvania. 

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