Front End Loader Tears Roof Off of a Car, Injuring Plaintiff’s Head

Front end loaderThis case involves an injury to the plaintiff and harm done to the roofing of the plaintiff’s car. The plaintiff, a middle-aged man, was a passenger in a car traveling on a two-way rural road, which was not designated as a construction road. A slow-moving front loader construction vehicle made a turn into the plaintiff, whereby the bucket of the front-end loader was high enough to tear the roof off the car and strike the plaintiff in the head, which gave him a serious head injury.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Are you familiar with these types of safety issues?
  • 2. Are you familiar with a front loader construction vehicle?
  • 3. Should a bucket be carrying that high when making a turn?
  • 4. Can you determine whether this was operator error or a design issue?

Expert Witness Response E-000806

Expert-ID: E-000806

Based on the facts provided, it appears that he was traveling with his bucket too high, which would be an operating error. I had hands-on experience, operating a front end loader for eight years. I am currently a safety science faculty member at a university, with my own safety consulting business, and I am very familiar with the safety procedures that most construction vehicles must abide by.

Expert Witness Response E-000809

I have been involved in the heavy highway and bridge construction industry for over 40 years as an engineer. Based on my experience, significant factors in this type of case could include the maintenance and protection of traffic issues, as well as the training of the front end loader operator. Also, relevant factors may be whether the front end loader was carrying a load at the time of the incident and if the front end loader was licensed to operate on a public highway.


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