Iowa man sues Alabama and Indiana firms in Madison County

Steve Gonzalez Jul. 31, 2006, 9:27am

An Iowa man injured in Carbondale filed suit in Madison County Circuit Court July 25, against Altec Industries of Birmingham, Ala. and Nesco Inc. of Bluffton, Ind.

Demian Papagni claims that even though there is no connection to Madison County, jurisdiction is proper due to the commission of a tortuous act within the State of Illinois.

Papagni, an employee of Q.C. Communications, claims that on July 28, 2004, he was working as a lineman and installing or repairing aerial telecommunications lines in Carbondale when he fell 25 feet from the bucket on a boom truck.

According to the complaint, Altec was the manufacturer of the Model AT 235 boom assembly used on the boom truck and Nesco sells, modifies and services the boom truck.

Papagni claims Altec failed to include adequate instruction for the safe use of the boom, inadequately designed the bucket assembly such that it created an unreasonable risk that a worker may fall out of the bucker, and failed to install adequate safety devices to prevent a worker from falling out of the bucket.

He also claims that Altec failed to provide adequate warnings of the risks and precautions necessitated or created by the design of the system.

Papagni claims Nesco failed to install adequate safety devices to prevent a worker from falling out and improperly assembled the boom assembly to the truck.

Papagni claims the fall caused serious and extensive injuries that made him sick, sore, lame, disoriented and disabled and caused him to become obligated to spend money for necessary medical care and treatment.

He also claims he has experienced a disability that has adversely impacted his personal life and wage earning potential, lost wages and will suffer an impairment of future earning. He also claims he has experienced pain and suffering as a result of his injuries and severe emotional distress.

"Papagni has developed post traumatic stress disorder that has adversely impacted his personal life," the complaint alleges.

Represented by William J. Knapp and John F.X. McCord of Knapp, Ohl & Green, Papagni is seeking damages in excess of $400,000, plus all costs of the suit.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron.

On March 21, 2005, a Jerseyville man who was thrown off a telephone pole digger filed suit against Altec and Nesco claiming they failed to design the pedestal bolts attaching the boom to the pedestal so that an operator could check tightness without taking apart the boom.

In that suit, Bradley S. Coughlin claims that bolts attaching the boom to the pedestal on an Altec Digger Derrick malfunctioned, causing him to be thrown from the operator's seat to the ground. He was employed by JF Electric Co. of Edwardsville at the time.

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