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Large Settlement in Milwaukee Street Sweeper Rollover Drives Redesign of Cab

Warshafsky Law Wins Case for Severely Injured City Worker

It was a typical early morning workday on the streets of Milwaukee. The City employee maneuvered the 20,000 lb. Elgin street sweeper in between parked cars. With two wheels in front and two closely spaced wheels behind, the sweeper was designed to get in and out of tight spots with ease. Unfortunately, the design also made it less stable than vehicles with wider rear wheel spacing.

Coming around a corner, the driver felt the sweeper leaning precariously to one side. In an instant, it had flipped on its side. Although his seat belt was fastened, it did him virtually no good. The cabin design was so flimsy the driver compartment just collapsed on top of him, crushing his spine in the process.

After multiple surgeries and extensive physical therapy, the driver still dealt with excruciating back pain and going back to work was out of the question. Medical science couldn’t make him whole again, so it was left to the legal system to get restitution. Fortunately, he chose to be represented by Warshafsky Law. 

Milwaukee Street Sweeper Rollover Accident Lawsuit

Lack of Basic Safety Equipment Provided Grounds for Product Liability Case

Investigators for Warshafsky Law examined the street sweeper and looked into similar rollover accidents involving these machines—there were plenty.

To the astonishment of our personal injury attorneys, there was not even the most basic driver protection system in place (besides a seat belt). A roll bar or reinforced cab would have been such a simple and effective addition, but instead, there was just an enclosure made of thin-gauge steel and glass.

With more than 50 years of experience prosecuting manufacturers who put out products with major design flaws, Warshafsky Law knew there was a solid case against the street sweeper manufacturer. Attorney Victor Harding filed a product liability suit against Elgin for failing to include any type of roll bar protection in their street sweepers.

When the dust had settled, Warshafsky Law had secured a huge financial settlement for the injured worker. The money wouldn't put his life back together for him, but it made dealing with the aftermath of his injury easier.

Holding Manufacturer Accountable Ensures Others Won’t Suffer Similar Injuries

After the massive settlement, Elgin began manufacturing their sweepers with a protective roll bar around the cab. And, wouldn’t you know it, 9 years later another Milwaukee worker flipped an Elgin street sweeper.

This time, though, there was no collapsed cab and no crushed spine—thanks to the roll bar Elgin had begun adding to the driver’s cab.

  A Quick Overview of Product Liability

  There are three types of liability suits which can be filed to recover for losses or injuries caused by a defective product:

  • Defectively manufactured products. If a product is flawed because of an error or oversight in manufacturing, and you can show you have been injured because the product failed or performed in a hazardous manner, you have a strong case for a product liability claim.
  • Defectively designed products. Any product or vehicle with an inherently dangerous or defective design, or one built with materials shown to be hazardous or prone to failure, can be considered a defectively designed product.
  • Failure to provide adequate warning or instruction. A product liability claim can be made against a product if the manufacturer fails to provide clear and adequate instruction for its safe use.

  For more information on product liability claims, see “How to Sue a Company for a Defective Product.”

Milwaukee Personal Injury Attorneys of Warshafsky Law: For the Good of All

Your snow blower wheel doesn’t explode in your face when you air up the tires. 

Your motorcycle wheel doesn’t wobble at highway speed and cause you to crash.

Your gas tank doesn’t erupt in flames if your car is rear-ended. 

These are things most of us take for granted, but it wasn't always so. Were it not for Warshafsky Law holding the manufacturers of poorly designed products accountable these products, and others, might still be causing injuries and deaths today.

When it comes to legal representation in a product liability case, nobody fights harder and nobody comes through for you—and society at large—like the Milwaukee-based personal injury attorneys of Warshafsky Law.

If you have suffered a personal injury caused by a faulty or defective product, contact Warshafsky Law for a free, no-obligation consultation. 

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Milwaukee Personal Injury Attorneys


Warshafsky is a based-in-Milwaukee personal injury law firm serving the injured since the 1950s.

Warshafsky has brought hundreds of successful lawsuits against auto makers, drug companies and insurance companies. Many clients choose us in part because we are able and willing to fund a case fully through trial and even appeal. Insurance companies value your claim based on the quality of your lawyer. No other Wisconsin law firms boast a board-certified accident investigator and a doctor who is also a lawyer and an attorney who represented insurance companies.

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