$2.5M California Products Liability Verdict Awarded in Nail Gun Accident that Left Man With Serious Brain Injury

December 31, 1969

Former journeyman carpenter Martin Oliver has been awarded a $2.5 million California nail gun injury verdict in his products liability case against Hitachi Koki USA. Oliver, who is now permanently disabled, suffered a traumatic brain injury when a nail went into his head while he was using the Hitachi NR83A nail gun.

Prior to the accident, Oliver had been a journeyman carpenter with four decades under his belt. Now, he can no longer work to support his family.

According to his California products liability lawsuit, it is a design defect that the nail gun's contact trip mechanism allows a nail to be discharged whenever someone pulls the trigger and the gun's nose makes contact with a surface regardless of what order this occurs. Most nail guns come with a sequential trip mechanism that only allows a nail to discharge if it touches a surface first and the trigger is then activated. Oliver accused Hitachi of knowing about the dangers involved with this design yet not doing anything to minimize or eliminate the risks.

Nail Gun Accidents
Nail gun accidents can result in serious injuries. Per the CDC, approximately 37,000 visits a year involve injuries caused by nail guns. Some types of nail gun injuries:

• Skull injuries
• Brain injuries
• Fractures
• Soft tissue injuries
• Spinal cord injuries
• Neck injuries
• Chest injuries
• Abdominal injuries
• Finger injuries
• Hearing loss
• Vision loss
• Amputation
• Penetration injuries
• Hand injuries
• Loss of body part use
• Broken bones
• Burns
• Hearing loss
• Death

It goes without saying that the injuries listed above can be very serious and life-altering for the victim.

California Products Liability
A product with a design that has inherent safety issues that far outweigh any benefits is considered a defective product in California. This means that even if the product works as intended, if it causes serious injuries then it can be grounds for an Orange County, Ca. products liability lawsuit.

Nail gun accidents cause injuries to both professional workers and consumers. Common causes:

• Accidental discharge
• Ricocheting nail
• Design defect
• Nail gun malfunction
• Accidental double fire
• Accidental misfire
• Operator inexperience
• Lack of proper safety procedures in a professional work environment

"Manufacturers of equipment that already come with certain operation risks must be extra vigilant about making sure that products are designed in a manner that minimizes the chances of injury," said Anaheim product defect attorney Vincent Howard.

If you are a worker injured on the job in a nail gun accident, you may be entitled to California workers' compensation benefits. You also may be able to pursue third party damages from the nail gun manufacturer/distributor/seller for personal injury stemming from products liability.

"With the catastrophic injuries that can result from a nail gun incident, you may not be able to afford foregoing obtaining financial recovery from the parties that harmed you," said Anaheim nail gun accident attorney Vincent Howard. "Medical bills and recovery costs can take a toll, as can the other losses and expenses that may arise."

Martin Oliver v. Hitachi Koki U.S.A., Ltd. et al, Justia Docket, July 12, 2007

Nail-Gun Injuries Treated in Emergency Departments --- United States, 2001--2005, CDC, April 13, 2007

Nail Gun Safety


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Orange County, California injury attorney Vincent Howard represents clients injured by all types of defective products. Your first case evaluation with Howard Law, PC is free.