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Radiator on Bulldozer Fails, Badly Burning Man

You've probably seen that warning on your radiator cap that says, "never open hot." Unsurprisingly, that warning is there for a purpose. Unfortunately for one worker, he found out that sometimes it is better to not even get close to it when it is hot.

On Thursday in Southborough, David Bartolini of Hopkinton was badly burned when the radiator on his bulldozer failed as he came near to inspect it, reports WCVB-TV. Bartolini was burned over approximately 25% of his body and is now confined to a bubble at Massachusetts General Hospital to avoid infection.

This looks like a possible case of products liability.

Products liability occurs when a product is dangerously defective and that defect harms you. A product can be defective because of its manufacture, design, or marketing. A design defect means that as designed, the product will cause harm even if it is used properly. A manufacturing defect is a problem with the product that happened due to a mistake in the manufacture that causes the product to become harmful. A marketing defect is a failure to warn about dangers of a product, or the failure to provide proper instructions.

When the product is defective, then the retailer, manufacturer, wholesaler, or installer can be found liable for any harm caused. In a lawsuit, all of the above can be sued at the same time. If you win that lawsuit, then all the defendants you name will fight about which will have to actually pay you.

Here, it seems like a design or manufacturing defect caused Bartolini's injury because he did not touch the radiator before it exploded on him. However, the bulldozer or radiator company has a couple of arguments to make before we give the money to Bartolini.

To fully prove a products defect case, besides the defect, that the product was being used in its intended fashion and that the product had not been substantially changed. Here, if the radiator used was from a car and not suited for a bulldozer then there would not be a case.

Get well soon, David Bartolini. Maybe there is a products liability case in this failure of a bulldozer's radiator.

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