Bloomberg reports Caterpillar has paid more than $9 million in one of last year’s largest product liability verdicts.
The 41-year-old worker was using a Caterpillar Wheel Tractor 623 G Scraper in August 2006 when the machine “suddenly and without warning began dramatically bouncing up and down.” The bucking caused the man’s seat to fail and slammed him against the machine’s frame causing spinal injuries and a punctured lung. He is now paralyzed from the waist down.
The lawsuit claims Caterpillar was aware of the tractors’ defects that made them move erratically, but did nothing to fix them. The jury found both Caterpillar and Holt Texas Ltd., the dealership that sold the scraper to the man’s employer, liable for actual and punitive damages.