Michael Stumph Killed In Coeymans Car Accident After Car Jack Failed and The Vehicle Pinned Him To The Ground
ALBANY COUNTY, NEW YORK (October 1, 2021) – A 27-year-old man from Coeymans identified as Michael Stumph has tragically died after becoming trapped underneath a vehicle when a car jack failed.
Albany County officials are saying that the victim may have been working underneath the car when the accident took place. Michael Stumph was underneath the car when a jack failed leaving him trapped.
Someone found the victim trapped underneath the car and called police. Firefighters and paramedics were called to the scene and were able to extricate Michael Stumph from underneath the vehicle.
Life-saving measures were attempted, but the victim was pronounced dead at the scene. He was taken to the Ellis Hospital for an autopsy.
The autopsy revealed that the victim’s death was the result of mechanical asphyxia.
Liability In Albany County Jack Failure Accidents
Accidents involving jack failures may seem like a freak occurrence. But they are much more common than people often realize. According to one report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “Approximately three-fourths (74%) of the persons injured in motor vehicle jack failures were injured as a result of being struck by the vehicle as it fell from the jack. Eighteen percent of those injured sustained injuries as a result of the jack collapsing or losing pressure while in use.” There are a number of common reasons that a car jack could fail while in use.
- Design defects
- Manufacturing defects
- Structural damage to the jack
- Seal failures for hydraulic jacks
- Contamination of the jack cylinder
Harbor Freight Tools recalled more than 1.7 million of the jacks that it manufactured after it was discovered those jacks had a propensity to collapse. According to the advisory issued by the (NHTSA), the jack stands may collapse under load. This poses a significant risk of injury or death from those under the vehicle. Owners of the jack are asked to immediately discontinue using them. Numerous injuries have already been reported due to the use of the jack.
A company that manufactured a defective jack which injured or killed someone could be held accountable through a product liability claim. Companies have a legal responsibility to create products that are reasonably safe. They must also warn consumers about the non-obvious dangers associated with the use of their products. For either negligence or strict liability claims plaintiffs must show the following:
- Design Defect:
- The product was unreasonably safe and created a substantial risk of injury;
- It was feasible for the product to have been designed in a safe manner; and
- The defect was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury.
- Failure to Warn:
- The defendant failed to warn the plaintiff of the dangers associated with their product.
- Manufacturing Defects:
- A product caused injury by not performing as intended. However, other products of identical design do not fail.
A car jack that has a propensity to collapse under normal use could very well suffer from a design or manufacturing defect. The family of any victim that died in a car jack failure may be able to seek justice through (N.Y. Est. Powers & Trusts Law § 5-4.1 (2021). The action that produced the death must have been the result of a “wrongful act, neglect or default.” Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills and funeral expenses. Sadly, though, companies will often fight hard to deny responsibility for any accident involving their products. A New York product liability attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case free of cost and get to the bottom of what caused any accident.
Investigating An Albany County Jack Failure Accident
We at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Michael Stumph. Any person that may have information about what happened should reach out to authorities. There should be a thorough investigation for the sake of all who have lost so much.
This accident in Coeymans also raises a number of important safety questions? Was this jack on a list of recalled products? Is it still being sold in stores? What may have caused the jack to fail? It is our sincere hope that steps are taken to protect consumers from additional tragedies like this. If the jack involved in this accident is unsafe, it should be removed from the market.