CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE. CASE RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE.
A Washoe Nevada County jury found Caterpillar, Inc. and its loader vehicle were not responsible for the death of a miner. The case, Aimee Nicole Natatapu v. Caterpillar Inc., in the Second Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada, CV16-01681, Department 8, involved a 2009 R1600G Loader Load-Haul-Dump (LHD) designed and manufactured by Caterpillar, that rolled over a miner when he failed to secure the LHD by setting the parking brake and other means, which resulted in his death.
In their claim, plaintiffs alleged the loader was defective in that it did not contain a redundant driver safety system that would have prevented the machine from rolling. Caterpillar countered that an automatic parking brake/operator presence system was available as an optional feature and the machine had adequate warnings and safety protocols. The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) investigated and found the decedent followed none of the five steps in the safety protocol. Through expert testimony, Caterpillar’s counsel demonstrated that just one of the five steps in the safety protocol could have prevented this incident. At trial, plaintiffs asked for $66 million in damages.