Louisiana Record

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Laborer alleges negligence in fall from apparatus

By Carol Ostrow | Jul 7, 2015

A St. Tammany Parish man is suing a Kentucky-based elevator manufacturer and an insurance firm, alleging negligence in a work site fall that caused the plaintiff to suffer a concussion.

Joseph Ruffino III filed a lawsuit July 3 against Abell Elevator International Inc. and its policy carrier, Old Republic General Insurance Company, in U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana.

According to the complaint, on Dec. 23, 2013, Ruffino was injured when a guardrail on a buck hoist collapsed at the defendant’s work site. The suit says the plaintiff will need lifelong medical care due to a concussion.

The lawsuit states that Abell neglected to construct the apparatus safely, prevent the rail’s collapse, make periodic inspections or warn Ruffino of any defects in the equipment. The plaintiff alleges the defendant additionally attempted “to conceal its identity as tort feasor” in order to avoid claims being paid out. He maintains the company’s insurer provided liability insurance coverage for all contractors and subcontractors on the work site.

Ruffino seeks damages in excess of $75,000, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney fees, expenses and court costs. He is represented by attorney Ben Clayton in Slidell, La.

U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana case number 2:15-cv-02455.

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