Truck driver loses vice grips law suit against Wagners

WHEN the lock to David Allen Beaven's concrete truck was jammed he reached for his trusty vice grips.

But in forcing open the jammed door Mr Beaven hurt his back - and has now lost a lawsuit against his employer.

Mr Beaven sued his employer - Wagners Industrial Services - claiming the company did not provide a safe work place.

The court heard on January 10, 2011 Mr Beaven returned to work after two weeks off. He went to his regular truck only to find the passenger door lock jammed. He entered the cab through the driver's side and used a pair of vice grips to pull the unlocking pin on the passenger door up.

When it came loose, he fell awkwardly back into his seat. Mr Beaven said he did not feel any pain that day.

But the next day he felt pain down his lower back, into his hip and down to his thigh and knee.

Mr Beaven stayed at work until August 2011 but the pain got so bad he was no longer able to work. He had surgery in December 2011 but remains in pain.

But Ipswich District Court judge Deborah Richards said although she found Mr Beaven "honest" and "reliable", Wagners was not at fault for his injuries.

She said Wagners provided drivers with training and they were required to perform daily maintenance checks.

"Attempting to lift a door lock is an activity within the purview of general checks on the truck, however, the plaintiff, upon being unable to lift the lock manually decided to use vice grips to pull it up," she said.

"It was the act of using the vice grips in this case that caused the plaintiff to be in an awkward position and therefore fall in the manner that he did.

"In my view the plaintiff has failed to prove that had there been further training and signage that the plaintiff would have acted any differently on the day in question and accordingly the plaintiff has failed to prove that the defendant is liable for his injury."

Mr Beaven's personal injury claim was dismissed.


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