On May 9, a truck driver who received personal injuries during the course of unloading his trailer filed a suit alleging personal injury and product liability against Cottrell Inc. in the St. Clair County, Illinois Circuit Court. According to the suit, the rig was defective and not reasonably safe.

According to the claims of Michael Gray, while working as a car hauler in Centreville, Illinois for Jack Cooper Transport Company on March 6, 2007, he sustained severe and permanent personal injuries to his back during the course of exerting required and foreseeable force and pressure on the skid.

Gray alleges that he was injured while operating the rear loading skid made by Cottrell.

Gray claims the rig to have been defective due to the lack of reasonably safe rear loading skids, brackets, housings and runners, having rear loading skids not capable of withstanding stress and deformation inherent in the rig’s use, lack of adequate warnings that the skids, brackets, housings, and runners supplied with the rig subjected users to an unreasonable personal injury risk, lacked adequate warnings of defects, lack of a full hydraulic deployment system, enclosed housing, proper rollers, adequate housing brackets, and non-manual system accompanying the skids meaning the required use of excessive force, and tendency of the rear loading skids and housing/brackets/runners to collect debris resulting in bending from normal use.

Gray also alleges the company was negligent due to failure to review and analyze injury records and industry reports available to them, failure to test the rigs to determine reasonable safety, and failure to modify the design when it was known that excessive number of user injuries had been caused by the skids.

Gray alleges that due to his injuries he has been and will continue to be caused to suffer pain and mental anguish, incur medical expenses, lose wages, and suffer permanent disfigurement. He seeks damages in excess of $250,000. His wife, Patty, also seeks damages in excess of $50,000, claiming to be dependant on him for support and services that have been deprived due to his personal injuries.

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