ARCCA was asked to investigate a workers’ comp subrogation case where an injured worker, who was a forklift mechanic, claimed that either the “kill switch” and/or the brakes on a standing forklift malfunctioned, causing him to lose control of the forklift. The incident occurred when the worker was driving the forklift down a ramp to an outside maintenance area. His leg became caught between the lift and the concrete lip on the side of the ramp, causing him to ultimately require a foot amputation.

Steps Taken

  • ARCCA’s expert performed an inspection of the forklift involved, including functional testing. Our expert also inspected the facility, ramp, and outside area.
  • In addition, our expert reviewed statements from the driver and witnesses, as well as all other reports regarding the incident.

Final Findings

The worker had been driving backwards with the forks trailing when he went down the ramp outside the warehouse. He appears to have lost control of the forklift, causing his leg to impact the curbing and guardrail on the side of the ramp, ultimately resulting in the severe injury to his foot.

The ARCCA expert determined that there was not any subro potential in this case nor were there any product defect claims to be brought against the forklift manufacturer, since the forklift worked properly during the inspection and no malfunctions were identified. Instead, the severe injury sustained in this incident resulted from human factors.

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