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Forklift Litigation

Pioneering Work on Forklift Liability that Changed the Industry

Forklifts and other similar equipment are ubiquitous in most industrial settings. And while some risk is unavoidable in industry, it is truly tragic when working men and women are needlessly exposed to the risk of serious injury because the companies that manufacture their equipment do not prioritize the safety of the people who use that equipment.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the Mayerson Law Offices achieved great success on behalf of the victims of forklift accidents, including numerous large verdicts in federal court later confirmed on appeal. This success was such that Hy Mayerson became nationally recognized as an authority in the area and was routinely sought out by attorneys from across the nation as a consultant or co-counsel for forklift products liability litigation.

During this time period, Hy deposed more than 200 employees and agents of forklift manufacturers, taking them to task about the design flaws and inadequate warnings associated with their products, which rendered them prone to overturning accidents and driver restraint system failures. Working with highly respected experts, such as Harold Josephs, Ph.D., CQE, CRE, CSP, CPE; Dan Pacheko, PE; and John Sevart, PE, Hy was able to win numerous hard-fought victories over forklift manufacturers throughout the nation. Most notably, in Habecker v. Clark Equipment, Co., the trial judge in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania decided in favor of the Defendants three separate times – and was subsequently reversed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit three times – before Defendants finally agreed to a favorable settlement.

Hy’s work had a very real impact on the industry and contributed greatly to the much safer forklifts widely used today, which include more useful and visible warning labels and better driver restrain systems (seatbelts). Indeed, some of the warning labels that Hy designed for use during his depositions were ultimately adopted by some manufactures for use in their products. All told, these changes likely saved thousands of lives that could have otherwise been lost to or irrevocably changed by forklift accidents.

For these efforts Hy received a commendation from the National Safety Council and was recognized in American Jurisprudence, Proof of Facts 3d for his contributions to its material on forklift litigation.

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