Michael Kirkland, a resident of Vancouver, Washington, worked at a glass bottle manufacturer, Cameron Glass in Kalama. He was experienced in the glass industry, having worked for about 30 years at two other glass container manufacturing plants.
On November 26, 2008, Mike slipped and accidentally fell onto the conveyor. He landed on a red hot bottle, which caught his clothes on fire and lodged into his rectum. Despite his decades of experience, safety gear and precautions, he sustained profound, permanent injuries. The manufacturer should have provided a reasonably safe platform for workers to stand. Moreover, the manufacturer should have provided a guard or shield over the conveyor to protect workers from suffering burns when standing near/over the conveyor.
Emhart Glass violated its duty under RCW 7.723.939 to design a reasonably safe machine and to provide adequate instructions.
He worked at Ball Foster/Kerr Glass in Illinois for almost 20 years. He then worked at Rocky Mountain Bottle in Colorado, after the Kerr Glass plant closed.
In addition to a $2,400,000 recovery, the manufacturer was required to make the required changes to its equipment to provide a reasonably safe machine to operate.