Sharp v. Altec Industries, Inc.
No. 03-182 (3rd Dist. Ct., Henderson County, Texas): This case was the first in a series of cases prosecuted by Roberts & Roberts in Texas, Wyoming, and Arizona involving insulated bucket trucks. Linemen were being electrocuted or severely burned because the upper controls for their aerial work platforms were not electrically insulated or isolated. The manufacturer contended that these linemen were at fault because they had failed to wear their rubber gloves as required by the safety rules governing linemen. Roberts & Roberts, however, proved that it was unrealistic to expect linemen to wear their rubber gloves 100% of the time, and that safer alternative designs for the bucket trucks were available. These cases lasted several years until the manufacturer retrofitted its bucket trucks. The number of linemen injured or killed in this manner dropped dramatically after these bucket trucks were made safer.