United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division
NANETTE K. LAUGHREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Plaintiff Brock Simpson's Motion to
Compel Inspection of Non-Party Property, Doc. 37. For the
following reasons, the motion is denied.
a products liability case, which arises out of an injury that
Plaintiff Brock Simpson suffered on June 1, 2012, while
repairing the foundation of a residential property in
Lee's Summit, Missouri. The owner of that property, the
Smith Family Trust, is not a party to this lawsuit, and has
repeatedly denied Simpson's requests to enter onto the
property to excavate and remove part of the foundation where
he was injured. Accordingly, Simpson has filed the present
motion to compel, seeking to gain entry onto the property via
this Court's Order.
understand the significance of the evidence that Simpson
seeks, a brief explanation of the work he was conducting when
he was injured is necessary.
foundation settles, one way to mitigate damage is to place
“piers” into the ground beneath it. A pier is
constructed by attaching a steel bracket to the base of the
foundation wall, and then driving a pile-similar to a rod or
a pipe-through the bracket and into the ground. Piles are
typically thirty-six inches long, but they are capable of
being coupled together to form a single, interconnected pile
of customizable length.
order to drive the piles deep into the ground, after the
bracket is secured to the wall, a hydraulic ram assembly
(“RAM”) is positioned over the bracket. The RAM
is secured to the bracket, and then connected to a hydraulic
pump, which operates a hydraulic arm in the RAM that drives
the pile down into the soil.
individual thirty-six inch sections of pile are not connected
until the process begins. First, a single thirty-six inch
pile is inserted into the RAM and driven through the bracket
into the ground. Once the hydraulic arm is fully extended, it
is subsequently retracted, and a second thirty-six inch pile
is inserted into the RAM. After the second pile is connected
to the first pile that is already in the ground, the
hydraulic arm drives the piles into the ground together, just
as before. The process is repeated until the piles reach an
adequate depth, which is determined by pressure per square
inch (“PSI”). The PSI is measured as the piles
are driven. Once the interconnected thirty-six inch piles
approach the requisite PSI, a shorter pile, commonly referred
to as a “push pipe, ” is inserted into the RAM.
The push pipe is then driven into the ground until it reaches
the requisite PSI.
sufficient number of piers are installed along the side of a
foundation, multiple RAMs can be daisy-chained together and
operated simultaneously to elevate the entire foundation.
When the foundation reaches the desired elevation, the piles
are partially bolted to the brackets, the RAMs are removed,
and the piles are fully secured to the bracket. The piers
remain in place indefinitely.
1, 2012, Simpson was using equipment manufactured by
Defendant Magnum Piering, Inc. to install piers in a
residential foundation. While installing one of the piers,
having driven the requisite number of thirty-six inch
sections of pile into the ground, Simpson inserted a push
pipe into the RAM to finish driving the interconnected piles
to their appropriate PSI. According to Simpson, at a time
when the PSI was well below the specified level, the RAM he
was using suddenly broke free of the bracket it was attached
to and struck him in the left side of his face, causing
the incident, it was discovered that the push pipe Simpson
was using had bent inwards toward the foundation wall.
According to Simpson, this redirected the force of the
hydraulic arm of the RAM against the foundation wall, which
in turn pushed the hydraulic arm of the RAM away from the
wall, and pushed the RAM upwards and away from the bracket.
Simpson alleges that the combination of forces placed such an
extreme amount of pressure on the single bolt securing the
base of the RAM to the bracket that it caused the bolt to
shear from the bracket completely. This, in turn, allowed the
RAM to break free and strike Simpson.