Every year in the United States, over 100 people die and thousands more suffer injuries in ladder-related falls. While some accidents result from improper usage, others happen when the ladders themselves are defective. Even when you buy well-known brands at major retailers, products can sometimes have design flaws or manufacturing defects.
In 2018, U.S. company Werner Co. recalled about 78,000 aluminum telescoping ladders after receiving a report that the ladders can break while in use, posing fall and injury hazards. The recall affected five models of ladders sold at Home Depot and Lowe’s stores nationwide in April and May of that year.
If you have a recalled Werner ladder as posted on the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website, immediately stop using it and return it to the store of purchase for a refund. If you were hurt while using a recalled Werner model or any brand of defective ladder, a personal injury attorney can help evaluate whether you qualify for financial compensation for your injuries.
Werner Ladder Lawsuits
Although not part of the recall, another style of Werner aluminum ladder was at the center of a lawsuit decided in 2018. According to the claim, a Werner Model 354 Type II ladder collapsed and crushed a Texas man’s arm and wrist, causing permanent injury. Jurors returned a $4.8 million verdict, holding Werner liable for the faulty design and marketing of the ladder.
The safety of a different Werner ladder was called into question in a class action lawsuit settled in 2013. The suit claimed that consumers suffered serious injuries after their S2208 and S2210 Easy Access Attic Ladders broke during use. Although these ladders were made of steel, plaintiffs alleged that they had defective zinc hinges that were prone to breaking and shearing. Werner denied the allegations, but agreed to a settlement to avoid going to trial.
Common Ladder Injuries
While many falls only cause minor bumps or bruises, they can also result in permanent disability or even death. In fact, falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death in the U.S. For older adults, falls are the number one cause of death.
Common injuries sustained in falls from ladders include the following:
- Head injuries
- Brain trauma
- Broken bones, including shoulder, wrist, pelvis, and hip fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Rib injuries, including cracked, strained, or bruised ribs
Ladder Accident Lawyers
Not only are ladder-related falls dangerous, but they can also be expensive. You may have to pay for emergency medical bills, long-term hospital stays, and ongoing treatment or rehab. If you’ve missed work or need in-home disability accommodation, you may have even bigger financial worries.
If your injury was caused by a defective ladder, you may qualify to recoup your financial losses. An experienced products liability attorney can help you seek compensation from the manufacturer or seller of a dangerous product. At Altman & Altman LLP, we have over 50 years of experience helping fall injury victims and those harmed by defective products of all sorts.
In Massachusetts, you generally have three years after an accident to file a personal injury claim. To protect your rights, contact us as soon as possible after your injury. You can reach us 24/7 at 617.492.3000 or online to schedule a free consultation on your Werner ladder injury case.