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Injured by Defective Millwork?

Millwork can add a homey touch of comfort to any residence or place of business. Whether it is a mahogany cabinet set or a simple piece of furniture, such improvements can make a big difference in the aesthetics of a room. However, improperly installed or manufactured pieces of millwork can create a dangerous risk of injury to those who use it. If you or a loved one was injured due to defective millwork, contact the Cambridge personal injury attorney experts at Altman & Altman LLP today.

Millwork is generally described in two categories – stock millwork and custom millwork. Stock millwork is generally more mass produced and is less expensive, usually seen in commercial buildings and places where the finer attention to detail doesn’t warrant the higher cost. Custom millwork is more deliberate and more likely to be seen in a private residence or a higher end place of business, where appearance is of the utmost importance.

When done right, good millwork can make a home or business look cohesive and symbiotic, and will last for many years before needing to be updated or replaced. When done poorly, however, bad millwork can be unstable and unsafe – which can result in injuries to anybody in the vicinity of the products when they fail.

What can Cause Millwork Injuries?

The most common way that millwork can result in injuries is if the work is shoddily designed, manufactured or poorly installed. In any of these cases, the work may not wind up being structurally sound or safe to bear weight. In the case of cabinets, this could result in heavy items raining down onto an individual when the cabinetry fails, which can result in crushing injuries or various blunt force trauma injuries.

Millwork does not only include the finished products, it also includes the smaller, less seen parts, such as fasteners (screws, bolts, cam locks, wires, chains, etc.) that hold the produced products together and enable them to withstand weight or comply with building codes.

If fasteners are designed cheaply, manufactured in a way that doesn’t test them to a reasonable standard or are otherwise dysfunctional, this can result in incredibly instable millwork products that may fail at any time. For example, an armoire could be produced via stock millwork, and require the assembly of the customer – using fasteners also supplied by the millwork company.

The customer assembles the armoire according to the directions using the supplied materials and fasteners, and everything looks great. However, the fasteners supplied are not graded properly for the amount of weight that is reasonably put in an armoire – and there is no mention of a weight limit on the instructions. The armoire collapses as the customer is putting spare blankets away, causing the heavy piece of furniture to fall on them, breaking bones and causing severe injuries.

In this instance, the millwork company could be held liable for multiple reasons – whether it is because they failed to warn customers that there was a weight limit associated with the piece, or because they supplied fasteners that could not withstand a reasonable amount of weight in a piece of furniture meant to be used as a storage receptacle.

We Hold Responsible Parties Accountable

In the case of dysfunctional millwork, it is possible that there are multiple responsible parties that resulted in your injury. Perhaps the product was designed with a fatal flaw – which would leave the designer or architect liable. Perhaps it was manufactured with a flaw – leaving the manufacturer liable. Perhaps it was installed incorrectly, which would leave the installer liable. Perhaps it is a combination of all three.

At Altman & Altman LLP, we specialize in finding the responsible party or parties and holding them accountable for injuries caused to our clients through no fault of their own. Whether you’re from Cambridge, Boston or anywhere else in the Massachusetts area, our 50 years of experience mean you are in the best hands possible to collect a settlement or emerge victorious through a personal injury claims process.

Contact us online or call for a free consultation to go over the details of your case today at 617.492.3000 or toll-free at 800.481.6199. We are available 24/7.

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