Local News story

BRIEFS

Wednesday, 19 January 2011 ( #497 )
Jury verdict benefits family of forklift driver
Baltimore, MD, United States

A jury in Baltimore awarded USD2.4 million to the family of forklift driver Daniel Edwards, who died in 2008 of malignant mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer found in the outer lining of the internal chest wall and lung.
The family claimed Edwards contracted the disease while moving bags of asbestos with a forklift during six years as an employee of Charlotte, North Carolina-based National Gypsum Co beginning in 1969.
Union Carbide Corp mined and supplied the asbestos and is said to have failed to warn workers about the multiple risks of exposure to asbestos and inhaling asbestos particles or fibres. Attorneys for Houston, Texas-based Union Carbide maintained that National Gypsum was responsible for issuing the warnings to Edwards and other workers. National Gypsum filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the US bankruptcy code in 1990.
Under a Maryland law setting a cap on legal damages, the award will be reduced to USD2.2 million.
The trial took place in the Baltimore City Circuit Court.


Forklifts allegedly useful in material thefts
United States

An operator moves metal products easily with a forklift although Maryland and Alaska perpetrators apparently used materials handling equipment for nefarious purposes. They stole materials and sold them to recyclers for personal gain.
The Baltimore County Police Department charged forklift operator Mark Antonio Luis Candelaria, 42, with theft of steel, aluminium and copper from former employers. Allegedly, he sold the materials valued at about USD320,000 to Terrapin Recycling LLC in Baltimore, Maryland and received more than USD47,000 in return, police say.
Candelaria worked previously for cargo storage firm Baltimore International Warehouse Co, serving the Port of Baltimore and chain-link fence fittings manufacturer Overseas Distributers Inc. Both have operations in the unincorporated community of Dundalk, near Baltimore.
Candelaria is accused of selling bags of fence fittings and, at times, pallets of what he inaccurately described as damaged parts.
Meanwhile, in Fairbanks, Alaska, state troopers arrested Jonathan Henry, 23, for theft of copper tubing valued at USD4,000 and causing property damage estimated at USD1,500.
Authorities say Henry used a company-owned forklift at C & R Pipe and Steel Inc to pick up 2,000 lbs (900 kg) of copper tubing that he sold to recycling firms K&K Recycling Inc in Fairbanks and W N Salvage Recyclers in the small nearby city of North Pole. Locks at the C & R facility were cut and construction yard fences were damaged in the theft.
Henry faces charges of theft, burglary, criminal mischief, criminal trespass, tampering with a vehicle and driving with a revoked license.

ITA slates spring meeting for March
Washington, DC, United States

The Industrial Truck Association (ITA) will hold its spring meeting on 21-23 March at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington.
ITA President Jeff Rufener will deliver a state-of-the-association address as part of the meeting. Rufener is vice president of marketing for Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc in Houston, Texas.
The spring ITA gathering begins with a suppliers' committee meeting and then moves into subcommittee sessions for various products and subjects such as electric power and systems; attachments, forks, masts and hydraulic systems; air quality; accessories and components; and energy storage systems.
Meetings of the general engineering committee, Canada committee, statistics committee and lawyers' committee are also scheduled.
Washington-based ITA represents makers of forklift trucks and their suppliers doing business in the US, Canada or Mexico. The registration fee for each meeting attendee is USD495.

MCFA continues Crist relationship
Houston, TX, United States

Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift of America Inc (MCFA) has opted to use the forklift-oriented Material Handling Guru database from Crist Information & Research LLC (CIR).
CIR has provided competitive information to MCFA since 2004, says Kyle H Crist, president of CIR in Elk Grove, California.
CIR has also supplied a few other US and European original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of forklifts "by means of private-label websites," Crist says. "Currently, we provide private-label websites/databases to five US-based OEMs, which, in turn, provide access to their dealerships."
Information relating to OEM contracts and financial agreements is proprietary, but "I can tell you a few examples regarding provided information: in-depth modifiable specifications, resale valuations, residual valuations, which are modifiable per user needs, fleet valuation tracking and additional competitive information, which is provided within a particular database, per a provision or request outlined within a specific OEM agreement," he notes.
Crist says the firm's forklift comparison website is undergoing a makeover that "will better target the consumers of forklifts and allow my company to provide a request for quote or sales lead to our private-label customers" without charge.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd of Tokyo and Caterpillar Industrial Inc of Peoria, Illinois formed Houston-based MCFA as a joint venture in 1992. A unit of Jungheinrich AG joined the partnership on 1 January 2010 and closed its North American operations.
CIR began supplying analytics and competitive information regarding the forklift and heavy construction equipment industries in 2001.
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