Jack Cooper Transport sued by car hauler

By Kelly Holleran | Jun 4, 2009

A Missouri resident and his wife have filed suit against the company that trained the man, alleging his back was injured because of car hauler work he performed.

William Henderson and Angie Henderson say William Henderson was injured while operating ratchet tie down systems in November 2007 for his employer, Jack Cooper Transport Company.

"Plaintiff, while attempting to perform his normal work activities in an intended and/or foreseeable fashion by operating the vehicle securement systems and using the normal procedures by which he was trained, sustained severe and permanent injuries to his back and related areas while exerting required and/or foreseeable force and pressure on the ratchet system," the complaint filed May 27 in St. Clair County Circuit Court states. "During such processes an idler broke and a tie down slot deformed."

All Jack Cooper Transport Company employees are trained to maintain, inspect and repair trucks by defendant, Auto Handling Corporation, according to the complaint.

By using the normal procedures through which he was trained, William Henderson sustained severe and permanent injuries to his back and suffered pain and mental anguish, the suit states. He says his injuries are disfiguring and permanent and that he has incurred medical costs, lost wages and sustained an impaired earning capacity.

"Plaintiff's injuries may also be due, in part, from repetitive trauma from the use of this and other Cottrell rigs, all of which have the same ratchet system defective design," the suit states.
Angie Henderson says she has been deprived of her husband's services and support.

Auto Handling Corporation owed a duty to properly train its mechanics, but violated that duty by failing to inspect the rig to identify unsafe conditions, by failing to maintain the rig to make sure the ratchets functioned properly, by failing to properly repair the rig, by failing to properly train its employees to properly undertake repair requirements and by failing to employ a sufficient number of employees to perform the inspection, among other things, the suit states.

In the three-count suit, the Hendersons are seeking a judgment of more than $150,000, plus costs and other relief which the court deems just.

They are represented by Brian M. Wendler and Thomas G. Maag of Wendler Law in Edwardsville and by Charles W. Armbruster III of Armbruster, Dripps, Winterscheidt and Blotevogel in Alton.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-277.

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