Pennsylvania Record

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Pennsylvania company asks judge to send Irish man's lawsuit to Canada, where alleged injury occurred

Federal Court

By Karen Kidd | Aug 8, 2019

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The base of a JLG Industries boom lift. | Wikimedia Commons

SCRANTON — A Bedford boom manufacturer, being sued by an Irish man allegedly injured while working on one of its booms in Toronto, has asked a federal judge to grant the man's motion to dismiss the case so he can refile it in Canada.

JLG Industries, a subsidiary of Oshkosh Corporation headquartered in Wisconsin, said in its July 30 motion that a warning light had been disengaged or disabled "by someone" after the boom was sold. JLG also told a U.S. District Court judge in Pennsylvania's Middle District that the injured man, Kevin Quirke of Ireland, could still plead his case in Canada.

"This significant, and relevant, alteration/modification should negate any strict liability claim in Pennsylvania, leaving plaintiff to proceed only under a negligence theory, even if this matter remained in the Middle District and if Pennsylvania law applied," JLG Industries said.

The case is assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Sylvia H. Rambo.

Quirke, described in JLG's motion as "a citizen of the Republic of Ireland who was working under a Canadian visa and living in Toronto," filed his lawsuit in April in Pennsylvania's Western District against JLG Industries. Quirke claims in his lawsuit that an incorrectly installed Bedford telescopic boom lift caused his injuries during a fall March 13, 2018, on Leslie Street in Toronto.

Quirke said he was standing on a platform 86 feet above the ground when the boom lift's cables broke, causing the boom to suddenly retract.

During the fall, Quirke struck the platform and railings and suffered severe injuries, including a fractured ankle, knee injury and fractures to his mandible, according to his lawsuit.

The case was transferred to the Middle District last month.

Before the case was transferred, Quirke filed a motion asking the Western District to dismiss his complaint to allow him to file suit in Ontario.

U.S. District Court Judge Nora Barry Fischer, on the bench in the Western District, transferred the case and did not rule on Quirke's dismissal, deferring instead to the Middle District.

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