TACOMA (CN) – A construction worker who lost an arm in a crash that killed his co-worker sued his employer for making him use what was known as the “Death Truck” even before the fatal accident. Paul Orris claims Caliber Concrete knew the Death Truck was dangerous, but told its workers to “just deal with it,” and refused to repair it.
Orris says the truck had no seatbelts, a makeshift ignition system, bad brakes and a hole in the floorboard. He says he was seriously injured the truck stalled, slammed into a tree and burst into flames, killing his coworker.
After the crash, Orris tried to use the truck’s fire extinguisher to put out flames engulfing driver Matthew Lingley, but the extinguisher was empty, according to the complaint in Pierce County Court.
Orris’s arm was amputated and he underwent multiple skin grafts as a result of the accident. The Washington State Patrol’s investigation found that the truck’s brakes “were so badly contaminated with oils, the brakes and vehicle should have been out of service,” the complaint states.
Orris and Lingley’s estate are represented by Philip Talmadge and Wesley McLaughlin.