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UPDATE: Robert Wayne Smith Died In Accident After Hydraulic Trailer Malfunctioned At A Home By Briceland Thorne Road Near Huckleberry Hill


Apr 23, 2019

Robert Smith Whitehorn: 67-Year-Old Contractor Identified As Robert Wayne Smith Died In Accident By Briceland Thorne Road Near Huckleberry Hill After Hydraulic Trailer Malfunctioned

BRICELAND, CALIFORNIA (April 23, 2019) – A 67-year-old man identified as Robert Wayne Smith has tragically died at a home by Briceland Thorne Road near Huckleberry Hill when a hydraulic trailer fell on top of him. 

Humboldt County authorities are saying that the accident took place around 1:00 p.m. Robert Wayne Smith was doing roofing work. The victim was using a hydraulic trailer when it malfunctioned and collapsed on top of him.

Deputies are still investigating what may have caused the accident. 

Liability In Hydraulic Trailer Malfunctions

According to OSHA, “5,147 workers died on the job in 2017 (3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers) — on average, more than 99 a week or more than 14 deaths every day.”  Most accidents occur in construction and most injuries or deaths are the result of falls. However, a number of workers are killed each year due to faulty equipment. In particular, many workers are crushed in accidents when a machine’s hydraulic system malfunctions. Depending on the facts of any case, there may be multiple forms of liability for an accident involving a piece of equipment:

  • Failure to Warn: Product manufacturers have a legal responsibility to take reasonable measures to warn consumers about the non-obvious dangers of their products.
  • Defective Design: A number of machines are inherently unsafe. A hydraulic pump that has a tendency to fail mid-use may have design defects.
  • Manufacturing Defects: As a machine is created, defects in the manufacturing process could cause it to become unsafe. Hydraulic machines that contain improper shaft seals may malfunction and injure workers. 

The family of a victim that dies in a work related accident may have legal recourse through California Code of Civil Procedures 377.60. A wrongful death attorney can examine all of the facts of your case and let you know what your rights are. We can conduct a forensic examination of equipment involved in an accident and let you know if it was defective. It’s important to be proactive after an accident to ensure that evidence is being preserved and that your rights are being protected. 

Investigating A Fatal Accident

We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our deepest condolences to the family of Robert Wayne Smith. It is our sincere hope that investigators will get to the bottom of what happened. The family deserves answers about what went wrong. 

If you or someone that you love has been injured in an accident with faulty machinery you may have legal recourse. Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to answer any questions that you may have. We are committed to making sure that accident victims are aware of their rights and that those rights are being respected. Whether you need a free police report about a particular incident or just have questions about your rights we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (888) 888-9285.

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