Belvidere, Illinois Man Blinded by Defective Welder's Helmet Files Suit

Posted By Power Rogers & Smith, P.C. || May 28, 2013

On June 8, 2011, the Plaintiff was working as a welder for Parallel Employment Group and was performing welding work at the Unicarriers America Corporation f/k/a Nissan Forklift plant in Marengo, IL.

That morning, a supervisory-level Nissan employee gave the Plaintiff a Hornell HNR 900FV welding respirator 9000, which is a type of protective helmet. That evening, after using the helmet, the Plaintiff began experiencing problems with burry vision. Later that evening the Plaintiff was taken to the emergency room where doctors informed him that he had “welder’s flash,” a painful condition caused by exposure of insufficiently protected eyes to the ultraviolet (UV) rays.

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After receiving additional medical treatment, the Plaintiff learned that his macula and retinas had been completely burned. After follow-up appointments with no improvement or change in condition, the Plaintiff turned to the personal injury lawyers at Power Rogers & Smith in order to pursue a lawsuit on his behalf. The Plaintiff is represented by Devon C. Bruce, a partner at Power Rogers & Smith, P.C.

The Complaint filed on behalf of the Plaintiff contains allegations that the helmet provided to him when he began working at Nissan was defective. Specifically, the Plaintiff alleges that the Hornell helmet was unreasonably dangerous in a number of respects: (1) it was designed to depend and operate on a battery cell; (2) it was not designed to continue to operate if a battery lacks a charge; and (3) it did not contain any way of identifying that the helmet battery was running low. In addition, the complaint contains allegations that Nissan was negligent in providing the Plaintiff with the defective helmet and for failing to warn or instruct him about the operation and use of the helmet.

As Mr. Bruce explained, “because of this unreasonably dangerous helmet, the Plaintiff is unable to read, has no central vision, experiences pain when in sunlight or other bright light sources.” Mr. Bruce continued, “this injury was entirely preventable. This helmet was dangerously and defectively designed and the Nissan Plant should not have given him a helmet without instructions and insufficient battery charge.”

The lawsuit is currently pending in the Circuit Court of Winnebago County, located in Rockford, Illinois.

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