FOR RELEASE: September 4, 2012
Last week, a Jackson County jury awarded a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) technician $13.6 million in damages for injuries he sustained while working on a commercial grade heat pump – which, he argued, was defectively designed with insufficient warnings.
The award, which was against the manufacturer of the heat pump and included $4.5 million in punitive damages, ends a four year struggle for the victim which began the day of his horrific accident.
According to court documents, the victim had been working on the heat pump in the recessed ceiling of an office building in Lee’s Summit on July 14, 2008. While performing his work atop a 6-foot ladder, the victim’s forearm made contact with an uncovered, and live, electrical panel on the pump – sending 460 volts of electricity coursing through the victim’s body and jolting the victim backwards, off the ladder, and onto the corner of an office desk.
The incident caused several life-threatening injuries to the victim, including numerous fractured ribs, a ruptured spleen and acute respiratory failure. The victim had an emergency surgery to remove his spleen but remained on life support for several weeks following the accident.
In all, the victim needed six surgeries to treat his wounds and subsequent infections. However, the victim continues to suffer from chronic neck pain and, according to the victim’s doctors, surgery will not be able to correct this issue – meaning he can no longer work as a HVAC technician and will likely be on medication for years to come.
This verdict will not only help provide for the victim’s long-term care but will hopefully serve as a warning for others in similar dangerous situations.
The victim in this case was represented by The Law Offices of Brian Timothy Meyers, a Kansas City-based law firm. For additional information on this case, or if you have personal injury questions of your own, feel free to contact the attorneys for the plaintiff in this case.