Madison - St. Clair Record

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Wrongful death suit filed over fatal forklift accident

By Molly English-Bowers | Jan 17, 2016

The special administrator of a man's estate filed a wrongful death suit alleging negligence led to his death when he and the forklift he was operating fell between a dock and a truck.

Michael Boland, special administrator of the estate of Zachery Boland, filed the suit on Dec. 30 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Gateway RT Owner LLC, DTZ Americas Inc., Nacco Materials, Blue Giant Equipment LLC and Roberts Loading Dock Equipment Company Inc.

The deceased was employed as a forklift operator by Saddle Creek Logistics Services in Edwardsville.  On July 15, 2015, he was operating a forklift between a truck and a dock using a dock leveler on property owned and maintained by Gateway. The truck driver allegedly drove the vehicle forward, causing the forklift and the decedent to fall into the gap between the truck and the dock. As a result, the decedent suffered fatal injuries.

The suit alleges the defendants failed to provide a vehicle restraint system for use with the dock leveler, failed to provide a warning light system to alert the truck driver that the leveler was in use, and failed to provide an adequate communication system between the truck driver and the dock worker.

The plaintiff seeks a judgment of at least $75,000 plus court costs from each of the defendants. He is represented by Thomas Q. Keefe Jr. of Keefe & Keefe PC in Belleville, and John P. Cunningham of Brown & James PC in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 15-L-732

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