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Hitting Lawyers with a Shovel Suit

GILA BEND -- The widow of a heavy equipment operator filed suit against the usual suspects, but in a surprise move has also named the American Bar Association and Trial Lawyers Unlimited as negligent in the death of her husband.

Big River Construction Company employee Dizzy Beenater died when his power shovel fell off the Poodle Island bridge.

"We found at least one hundred and thirteen product warning labels composed by lawyers inside the vehicle cab or within clear viewing distance of the operator," said attorney Steven Dallas, who is representing Beenater's wife, Daisy. "The warnings were not only a distraction, which impaired Mr. Beenater's situational awareness, but numerous window placards actually blocked his view, causing him to drive off the bridge."

In addition to the usual alerts on Beenater's McDonalds coffee cup warning of "Hot Contents" and his Bic Lighter cautioning that it is "Flammable," the shovel cab windows were plastered with red, yellow and orange stickers advising the operator, in part:

"Vehicle Moves When Used."
"Never Use Match or Open Flame to Check Fuel Level."
"Items in Mirror are Behind You."
"Do Not Use Seat Cushion on Eyes."
"Do Not Read Warnings While Operating Equipment."

"Laypersons may find it difficult to understand the important role we play in society to help protect the public by pointing out the obvious," said local ABA Delegate Clinton Svinktaogle. "But, simply put, you can never underestimate the creative idiocy of the American consumer."

In a surprise move, Komatsu, the manufacturer of the power shovel, settled with Beenater's widow, but has also filed a separate action against the legal organizations for damage to its reputation and loss of earnings as a result of the incident.



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