Appeals Court Upholds Forklift Verdict

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a verdict against the manufacturer of a forklift on which a Maine man was killed five years ago.

A Maine jury ordered Crown Equipment to pay $4.2 million to the widow of a man who suffocated after being pinned when his forklift backed into a wall.

The lawyer for Claire Brown told jurors that Crown knew of 220 similar accidents, 10 of which caused deaths prior to her husband’s. But Crown contended it was under no obligation to notify users of older equipment of safety upgrades, including one recommended for the forklift that claimed the life of Thomas Brown on Aug. 1, 2003, at Prime Tanning in Berwick, Maine.

The appeals court upheld the jury’s verdict but ordered the lower court to revisit the issue of damages.