Defective scaffolding blamed in man's suit

Kelly Holleran Jun. 30, 2010, 2:54pm

A man and his wife have filed suit against the scaffolding manufacturer that the couple says defectively designed scaffolding, causing the man to fall.

Matthew and Cynthia Shaefer claim Matthew Shaefer was working as a carpenter for Brand Energy Services on Nov. 17, 2008. As part of his job, Matthew Shaefer was required to work on a high-rise scaffolding manufactured by defendant Universal Scaffolding and Equipment.

"On said date, the scaffolding being used contained pieces that were of irregular length and did not fit together evenly causing an irregular fit and uneven frame, the bars did not fit properly into the cup and the ends were twisted which caused plaintiff to fall and become injured," the suit filed June 16 in St. Clair County Circuit Court states.

Because of his fall, Matthew Shaefer suffered severe and permanently disabling crush injuries to his neck, head, shoulders and arms; incurred medical costs; suffered physical pain, mental and emotional suffering, anguish, outrage and inconvenience; and lost his enjoyment of life, time, income and earning capacity, according to the complaint. Cynthia Shaefer claims she lost her husband's assistance in maintaining their home and raising their child. In addition, she lost his providing love and affection, guidance, fellowship, protection, companionship, affection, society, sexual relations, moral support and solace, the suit states.

The Shaefers blame Universal for causing Matthew Shaefer's fall, saying the company negligently designed and sold scaffolding in a defective and dangerous condition, failed to design the scaffolding with adequate safety measures and failed to provide adequate warnings regarding the associated risks of the scaffolding.

In their four-count suit, the Shaefers are seeking a judgment of more than $200,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

Andrew J. Toennies of Lashly and Baer in St. Louis will be representing them.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-300.

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