A Coalport, Pennsylvania man was killed by a the forklift he was using at a lumber yard. The accident was unwitnessed, but he was found pinned between the boom and the roof of the forklift. He died of crush injuries to the chest and asphyxia. Authorities believe that he was getting off the forklift when he accident activated the controls of the forklift, resulting in the fatal accident.If I were contacted by this family, one thing that I would obviously advise them of is the right to collect worker’s compensation benefits. However, the more important advice I would give them is that this wrongful death was probably due to a couple of different design defects in the forklift this man was using at the time of his work accident. As an experienced Chicago wrongful death lawyer, I would also advise them that a crucial part of any dangerous or defective industrial product lawsuit is that the remains of the product must be preserved to allow a proper investigation of the case and to prevent dismissal of the product liability suit. I suspect that the investigation would show a couple of defects:The first would be the absence of a dead man’s switch. This is a device that is normally placed in the seat of a forklift which prevents the boom from being activated when the seat is empty. Had one been in place on this product, it is hard to envision how this man would have been killed.The second is the absence of guards against accidental activation of the controls. These can be as simple as covers for the controls to having notches in the control panel which have to be accounted for in setting the boom into motion. This would help assure not only the safety of the operator but of persons around the forklift as well.This was probably a very avoidable wrongful death, and it appears that much of the blame for this will lie with the forklift manufacturer.