A Michigan woman working in an automobile factory was killed by a robot that should never have entered the area in which she worked.
Wanda Holbrook, from Grand Rapids, was crushed to death when she became trapped in a piece of machinery that should not have been in her work area. Now, her husband, William Holbrook has filed a wrongful death suit against five robotics firms responsible for the installation of the piece of robotic equipment.
Holbrook maintains in his lawsuit that the five companies who designed, built and tested the robots are liable for his wife’s death. Mrs. Holbrook was a 57-year old grandmother. Her husband has been fighting his case for almost two years, and says he hopes to prevent other families from having to go through the nightmare that his family has suffered.
The incident happened at the Ventra Ionia Main, a plant that manufactures car parts. Wanda was working on her production line when a piece of equipment entered her area. The robotic equipment hit her in the head, and then crushed her against a hitch assembly it was working on. She never stood a chance once the piece of equipment went out of control.
The lawsuit, among other things, claims that a failure of one or more of the safety devices within the safety system failed, causing Wanda’s death.
Wanda had worked at the company for 12 years, and now her attorney says Ventra Ionia will not give him access to her place of work. The Holbrooks also have been denied benefits while a compensation claim is in dispute.
The Holbrook’s attorney, Matthew Wikander, says, “There may be other players involved. I think there is a lot more to this story.”
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