A member of the Republic of Singapore Air Force is suing two Southern California companies, alleging both share liability for an accident he suffered in a military vehicle that cost him part of his right leg in 2018.
Joshua Tan’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit names as defendants Chatsworth-based Hydraulics International Inc. and PKL Services Inc., located in Poway.
He is seeking unspecified damages, alleging strict liability, negligence and negligent hiring, supervision and retention.
Representatives of the two companies could not be immediately reached for comment.
Tan was a member of the Republic of Singapore Air Force and part of the 428th Fighter Squadron stationed at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho. On May 15, 2018, he reported to the weapon-load training hangar at for his initial certification training in use and operation of the MJ-1C, a vehicle used to transport and load munitions and other items onto jets, according to his court papers.
Training for operating the MJ-1C is conducted by employees of PKL Services and the company instructs how to load and unload the vehicle in small spaces, the suit says. The MJ-1C is designed, tested, manufactured, assembled, distributed, marketed and sold by Hydraulics International, according to the complaint.
Due to a planned event at the base on the day of the accident, the hangar was ordered cleared of all equipment, the suit states. Tan alleges he was asked to move the MJ-1C to the logistics building, a distance far greater than he was trained to operate the vehicle.
While driving the vehicle on the base’s slightly elevated main road, it began operating erratically and became uncontrollable, veering to the right shoulder of the road before coming to a stop in a tilted position to the side, the suit states.
Tan’s right leg was pinned underneath the vehicle, forcing an amputation of the limb below his knee and “forever altering his life,” according to his court papers, which allege Hydraulics International negligently manufactured the vehicle and was responsible for warning of any risks or dangers associated with operating it.
The suit further alleges PKL Services provided inadequate training in operating the vehicle on an open road “at higher speed.”