Court awards $5.25 million to family of woman killed on the job

posted on:
November 9, 2010

author:
STAFF

Beasley Allen attorneys represented the family of Beverlyn Wingard, who was killed while working at Albany International in Montgomery, in the wrongful death lawsuit in Montgomery County court

MONTGOMERY, ALA. (November 9, 2010) – The law firm of Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., represented the family of Beverlyn Wingard in a wrongful death lawsuit filed in Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Alabama. Ms. Wingard was killed in January 2008 while working for Albany International in Montgomery, when she was crushed by machinery she was operating at the textile plant.

The lawsuit alleged the equipment she was operating did not have the proper guards to protect workers and required dangerous operating procedures by workers. Montgomery County Circuit Judge Charles Price found on behalf of the Plaintiffs and awarded $5,250,000 in damages.

According to the lawsuit, Beverlyn Wingard was using a machine known as a warper, which is used in the textile industry to uniformly roll a number of lines adjacent to each other onto a spool called a canister. The S-roll drive maintains these lines at a constant tension, allowing them to be uniformly placed onto the canister. The complaint states that the evidence is undisputed that the warper was not properly guarded and, as a result, Ms. Wingard’s body was pulled in to the rotating parts of the machine, causing her death. Additionally, the suit alleged modifications made by manufacturers to the equipment caused workers to have to clean the equipment while it was running, instead of when the machine was turned off, which they had been able to do prior to the modifications. As a result, this procedure was much more dangerous, with workers risking being pulled into the running machine.

Greg Allen and Kendall Dunson of Beasley Allen represented the estate. According to Allen, “The sad thing about this case is that Ms. Wingard took care of two young children. She was going to lose her job as a result of the Montgomery Albany plant closing. Ms. Wingard had been notified shortly before her accident that she would be laid off after six years at the plant.”

The suit was brought by Walter Wingard, Beverlyn’s brother, on behalf of the family. Defendants in the case included Guillot Textilmaschinen GmbH, a German corporation; TEXO Inc.; and TEXO AB, a Swedish corporation. 

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