The plaintiff, a 33-year-old freight truck operator, had been contracted to deliver two large, steel trusses, from Easton, Massachusetts to a construction site in Marlboro, Massachusetts. After arriving at the construction site, the plaintiff attempted to locate the steel contractor responsible for off-loading the trusses. According to the terms of the delivery agreement, the delivery was considered a “no-touch load”, meaning that the plaintiff driver was not to participate in the off-loading of the trusses.
After locating the steel contractor at the construction site, the plaintiff stood beside the flatbed truck and watched as the steel contractor began to off-load the trusses. Several tall, steel support beams, designed to prevent the load from falling off the side of the flatbed during transport, were removed from the sides of the truck to allow access to the trusses. One such side pole was leaned against the truck’s “headboard”, which separates the flatbed from the rear of the cab.
In order to off-load the trusses from the flatbed, the defendant, steel contractor, placed two, large, wooden planks against the flat-bed, intending to move the trusses from the flat-bed by hand, to the ground using the inclined wooden planks.
While the defendant was in the process of shifting the load toward the inclined planks, one of the steel side poles, which had been placed against the headboard, fell and struck the plaintiff on the head, resulting in a closed head injury.
The plaintiff alleged that the defendant, steel contractor, was ill-prepared to off-load the trusses, which, as confirmed by the defendant’s deposition, was typically performed through the use of a crane. The plaintiff contended that the defendant was negligent in proceeding with the off-loading process once it was determined that a crane was unavailable to him.
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