Not resolved


PACE, FLORIDA "" Almost two-years after a work-related injury, a former Walgreen's manager is told by the company responsible that his problems are 'not our problem'.

On October 16, 2009, Shawn Rainbolt, a Pace resident and a Walgreen's assistant manager fell seven feet when the ladder step he was on broke beneath him. Rainbolt sustained a head laceration, neck, back, leg injuries and lost consciousness. After a year of physical therapy, it was determined by a local physician that he will suffer a permanent hearing impairment, including severe tinnitus and a growing irritability to sound.

Investigation uncovered that the ladder, built by Werner Company, was at fault for Rainbolt's accident. An expert hired by Rainbolt's attorney, Chris Vlachos, examined the ladder and determined it was manufactured by Werner. Ten-foot aluminum ladders, such as the model (Werner Type 1 Model #PT6008) Rainbolt fell from, requires proper assembly, testing and inspection before Werner markets it and sells it to companies such Walgreen's. Providing safe and tested equipment is tantamount to Werner's reputation as a world-leader in ladder equipment and every worker, who has a family to support, depends on that guarantee every time they step on their ladders.

The ladder accident was only the start of Rainbolt's problems. Due to his injuries he could no longer perform his job duties and was forced to leave Walgreen's on January 2011 and has been unemployed ever since. Since losing his job, Rainbolt had his vehicle repossessed, skirted eviction, and labor through a jobless market. When, he and his wife had no money to eat, Rainbolt was forced to take out lines-of-credit he cannot afford to payback then or now.

With the help of Vlachos, Werner was speedily contacted where they were called on to take responsibility for the accident and pay for Rainbolt's permanent hearing impairment and lost income. According to an attorney for Walgreen's, certain guarantees were made by Werner to resolve the matter fairly but, to date, Werner has refused to accept their liability.

Collen Taylor, a Werner representative, sent a blanket letter August 25th attempting to disregard her company's liability. In part, her letter stated that Werner declared chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2006. Taylor claims that the ladder Rainbolt fell from was manufactured by the "Old Werner Company" and not the current one that has been a legal entity since May 2007. However, it was "New Werner", as they are commonly referred to, that purchased essentially all subsidiaries, product patents and equipment from "Old Werner". This included any contracts to service the same companies and customers as before, such as Walgreen's or Lowe's, to provide safe ladders. "New Werner", according to their website, still claims to be the Werner Company originally founded by Richard D. Werner in 1922.

Rainbolt recounts his patience with Werner to do the right thing. "It wasn't Walgreen's fault the ladder broke beneath me. It wasn't my fault either. I was just doing my job that day. It could've been someone else," Rainbolt said, "I fell because Werner failed to inspect it "" just look at it once before leaving the assembly line. Had they done that, I would have never fell. Werner made a defective ladder and profited from selling that ladder to Walgreen's. How can a company get away with selling an inferior product and not be held liable? When you think about it, if Werner gets away with this they would've made money from my injury."

Is your ladder safe?

References:Shawn Rainbolt, Injured Worker: (850) 791-8246Chris Vlachos, Rainbolt's Attorney: (850) 469-1313Kim McCall, Walgreen's Attorney: (904) 398-0900Colleen Taylor, Werner Co: (724) 588-8600

Product or Service Mentioned: Werner Ladder Ladder.

Monetary Loss: $125.

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I had a similar incident with our 6' Werner ladder and it caused me to fall head first onto a blacktop driveway. I lost consciousness, broke my nose, a bone in my face, bit through my bottom lip BEFORE 5 of my front teeth broke off, broke my arm in 2 places, wrist had to have a titanium plate put in to hold it together and broken elbow has 6 pins in it.

Six months later I still have a concussion with mild brain trauma and am in therapy 3x a week to help me gain back short term memory, comprehension, confusion and other basic mental functions as well as physical/OT therapy. My co-pay and deductible medical bills are now in the many thousands of dollars (and I HAVE insurance!)


Hi my father who is 65 years old was using a Werner ladder a few months ago and the same thing accord where the ladder gave out on him and he fell causing to break four ribs and and now has a constant ringing in his ear. I would like to know if the person who wrote this article could contact me.

My name is Rose 831-915-1084 is my cell number. I would liketo compare stories and know what the ending result has been for you

Thank you so much

Dallas, Texas, United States #730794

OK how long have you had this ladder?And second what make's you feel like this particular ladder was not tested along with the rest of the ladder's?Safety start's with the person.The ladder could have not been set up correctly by the mgr.Next since this person was employed by Walgreen's,What does Walgreens have to say about this matter?

Decatur, Illinois, United States #686391

I have had almost the same thing happen to me. Was on a Werner 6 foot fiberglass ladder when the bottom buckled and I fell to the ground.

Now my back is screwed up for the rest of my life. I live with constant back pain.

to George #730787

George contact me Id like to know how and what has happen with your case.

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