Hall Co. firefighters, hurt in collapse, sue truck maker

GAINESVILLE, Ga. -- The three Hall County firefighters injured last July after their ladder truck collapsed are now suing the truck's manufacturer.

The firefighters -- T.J. Elliott, Will Griffin, and Stephen Jackson -- fell 45 feet last year during a training exercise.

But attorney Shane Lazenby, representing Elliott, would tell you the story begins three months earlier, when Hall County purchased the truck from the Sutphen Corporation for more than 500,000 dollars.

Lazenby says Sutphen did not fully disclose the truck's issues to Hall County.

11Alive first reported the truck's previous owners, the fire department in Bluffton, South Carolina, replaced the cables on the truck five separate times as a result of systemic failures. Similar issues had popped up with Sutphen trucks across the country; the corporation has since issued a recall.

As for Elliott, Lazenby says, "The left side of his face was completely crushed and has been built back up essentially with titanium and metal parts. He's in physical therapy this morning and tomorrow morning, and he will be the rest of this week."

Elliott is the only one of the three to have returned to work.

We reached out several times to the Sutphen Corporation for comment or response. They have not returned our requests.

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