10th Circuit Reverses $3.5 Million Rock Crusher Verdict, Citing No Causation Evidence

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit reversed a more than $3.5 million verdict against Terex USA, LLC in a case involving personal injuries caused by a rock crusher.  The appeals court found that there was no evidence in the record to support the plaintiff’s strict liability claim – based on the assertion that a thinner toggle plate than that in the machine would have broken and released the energy that caused the plaintiff’s injury.  The court then nixed the plaintiff’s failure to warn claim on proximate cause grounds, noting both that the plaintiff admitted that he had never read the machine’s manual (and added “Why would you read a manual?”), and that the plaintiff’s claims that adequate warnings would have prevented the plaintiff’s co-workers from allowing the plaintiff to undertake the risky maneuver that led to his injury were undermined by the absence of any evidence that the co-workers had read the manual. [8/28/15]