killed by the metal -comments
- Here are some comments on Marla vs Thomas et al. case. What are your
thoughts or feelings about what some of the folks think? Can anything change your
Thanks again for all your input.
Emerald is liable under vicarious liability; Thomas is liable because if the
iron was properly cinched own, it would not fall off--res ipsa locatuur.
Because the sheet metal fel off the flatbed, it was obviously not properly
secured. By taking on the iron load, Thomas implied that he was transferring the
load safely; it was not. The second driver has no liability. Nothing
The responsibility for transporting the load securely rests on the
carrier. The carrier has the right to refuse the load if it is not
Further, the scrap metal would not stay on the pallet unless banded,
it is common practice for such loads to be banded, and the bands would
most assuredly break if a pallet dropped from a truck doing 50mph+ on
First, the scrap pieces would certainly have fallen off the pallets during
the lifting and movement by the forklift had they not been secured to the
pallet itself. Small metal bands, usually 1/2-inch to 1-inch in width, are
generally used for this purpose. The bands are a dark grey gunmetal color so they
are hard to see in poor photos.
Someone from Thomas should be able to claim personal responsibility for
banding the pallets.
One question I have, without having seen the photos of the load, was whether
the scrap metal was banded in one direction or in two directions on the
pallet. That is, was the load banded "sideway" only or "front-to-back" only, or
was is banded both side-to-side and front-to-back, such that/ the bands
crossed over each other for a more secure load? And, how many bands went in each
diection around the pallet?
You are saying the banding of the scrap metal to the pallet is "unitzing"
the pallet, but you may want to be sure of this terminology. The alternative
I'm thinking of is when multiple pallets are loaded onto a flatbed...with the
loads banded to each pallet individually...and then the individual pallets are
ganged together with additional straps or chains. I've heard that procedure
called "unitizing" in previous cases.
Anyway, as the forklift operator maneuvered the pallets onto the trucks,
another Thomas employee should be able to claim responsibility for either
"ganging" the pallets together or not, if this is really what they mean by
"unitizing" them on the flatbed.
My guess is they were never ganged together.
Once the Thomas forklift operator (and possibly the Thomas employee who
unitized the load, if that was in fact really done) were finished, the Emerald
driver took responsibility for the load.
Pallets are usually secured with webbing-type straps that unreel from one
side of the flatbed, go over the top of the load, and are secured on the other
side of the flatbed. They are ratcheted down to a tight fit across the load.
Because the webbing straps are only a side-to-side mechanism, they do a
great job at preventing sideways or "lateral" load shifts. However, they do a
lesser job at fore-and-aft or "longitudinal" load shifts.
Many trucking companies guard against fore-and-aft slippage by additionally
placing a tie-down tarp or cargo net across the load, securing it on all
sides, and/or using cross-braced chains along the flatbed surface to fully
immobilze the pallets from slipping in any direction on the bed surface.
Since you mentioned that an entire pallet fell off the flatbed... as opposed
to loose scrap metal falling off a pallet and then being ejected off the
flatbed... my guess is that this pallet of scrap metal was banded properly and
maintained its integrity as a unit. The entire unit shifted rearward for
reasons unknown at this time, and eventually fell off the back of the flatbed.
Wind resistance may be a chief cause of this if the load was high.
Thomas would have no liability. It's 100% Emerald's failure. The truck
driver failed to secure that pallet, for whatever reason.
I asked my husband who is a forklift driver and very knowledgeable about
loading into trailers. His opinion is that both the parties are
The company who sold the scrap metal should have properly loaded that
there are stringent procedures to follow and if they are not loads will
shift and fall. No unifying straps were visible in the photographs. Second
driver should have not only properly strapped down the load, but also
the load to be sure it was properly loaded since he was going to be driving
this load and assuming the safety of the transport. So the seller and the
transport company are equally responsible
I see what you are saying but unless Thomas contracted to secure the
load it is not their responsibility. That is the responsibility of
the driver & the company he/she works for.
> I agree with the expert. Let them divide liability.
> <<Marla's expert contends that the means and
> method to secure the cargo was insufficient and that both Emerald
> and**************It's Tax Time! Get tips, forms, and advice on AOL Money &
> Thomas are to blame.>>
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