FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM SEPTEMBER 12, 2019 • THE QUEENS COURIER 23
MY CHAIR COLLAPSED
Q: At work, a leg of my chair came out, and I fell to the floor. I have witnesses.
My friends took photos, and they show that the leg had come out of its dowels.
A: Defendants that come to mind include the manufacturer of the chair and the
entity in possession of the premises, i.e. the owner or tenant. However, the receipt of
workers' compensation benefits is the exclusive remedy that a worker may obtain
against his or her employer for losses suffered as a result of an injury sustained in the
course of employment. So, assuming that your employer was the owner or tenant, and
you were covered by workers’ compensation, then your employer seems not to be an
The manufacturer’s attorney will hope to show that the chair’s collapse was
caused by a circumstance like the age of the chair, damage during storage, or misuse.
He or she might even have an engineer visit the defendant's plant to be able to testify
that the processes, quality control, testing and inspection were up to snuff, and that a
defect in gluing would have been readily identified at several stages of the manufacturing
process, so that it was virtually impossible for a chair with such a fault to leave
At the outset, your attorney may want to obtain a court order or otherwise
make sure that your employer does not allow this chair to be repaired or discarded.
Otherwise, the manufacturer may contend that it is entitled to an ‘adverse inference’
that the gluing was fine. If somebody now repairs this chair or discards it, the Court
may well penalize you for the destruction of evidence – by precluding you from offering
evidence of the condition of the chair at the time of your accident.
Surely, a critical phase of a chair’s manufacturing process is the uniform and
adequate application of glue in order to create a strong joint. With proof that the
dowels were inadequately glued – indicating that the manufacturer failed sufficiently to
coat the dowels and corresponding holes – you can hope to win.
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