Cases & Deals

United Taconite wins breach of warranty trial and is found blameless for drill accident

Clients United Taconite

Jones Day represented United Taconite, a subsidiary of Cliffs Natural Resources, in a three and a half week trial involving breach of warranty and subrogation claims against Atlas Copco, a Texas-based manufacturer of large blasthole drills. United Taconite, the operator of the Thunderbird Mine in Eveleth, MN, claimed that a defectively designed leveling jack failed on an Atlas Copco blasthole drill, causing a drill tip-over and the death of the driller. Atlas Copco claimed, among other things, that United Taconite was not operating the drill properly at the time of the accident. After deliberating for less than three hours, the jury found Atlas Copco 100% responsible for the accident, exonerating United Taconite. The jury concluded that the drill was defectively designed and was unreasonably dangerous. United Taconite was awarded approximately $3 million in damages.

Driscoll v. Atlas Copco Drilling Solutions, Case No. 69-VI-CV-08-145 (Sixth Judicial District, St. Louis County, Minnesota)