Logging Death Raises Defective Product Questions

A logging accident in Chehalis, Washington late last week led to one worker’s death, according to a report by the Associated Press. According to the news agency, 47-year old Michael Messner of Longview, Washington died “while operating a logging processor.”
Quoting police sources, the agency says “Messner died Thursday when a chain broke and rammed through the windshield of the processor’s cab, striking him in the throat.” Washington state officials have begun an investigation. An official of the logging company for whom Messner was working says the company is also conducting its own investigation of the workplace accident.

All of this is noteworthy for Oregonians because of the reported circumstances surrounding Messner’s death. Had a similar accident taken place here in Oregon the victim’s family would be well-advised to consult with a Portland industrial accident attorney to see whether grounds exist for an Oregon wrongful death lawsuit.

Ordinarily, workplace injuries are handled under the workman’s compensation system – legally speaking, a different topic. But the involvement, or potential involvement, of a third party changes the situation under Oregon law. In such situations an Oregon wrongful death or Oregon defective product suit may be possible. In the case of Mr. Messner, for example, an Oregon wrongful death attorney would have to ask whether defects in the machinery he was operating led to the accident that killed him. Should the chain have broken in the first place and, once it did, was it reasonable to expect the windshield to stop it?

Legal issues such as these can be complex, and often require the specialized skills a Portland, Salem, Eugene or Corvallis personal injury attorney can offer to clients. If tragedy strikes a loved one while he or she is on the job, it is important to ask whether a defective Oregon product may have been partly to blame.

AP via The Oregonian: Longview man killed in logging operation near Chehalis, Wash.