The plaintiff, a 60 year-old Massachusetts professional truck driver, was delivering a shipment of heavy material to a large industrial vendor. During the off-loading process conducted by the defendant, a portion of the shipment fell from the plaintiff’s trailer bed and onto the plaintiff, pinning the plaintiff’s legs to the ground. Medical personnel were called to the scene and transported the plaintiff to the hospital for emergency surgery on his open tibia-fibula fractures, including the insertion of an intra-medullary rod in his tibia. He was transported to Boston Medical Center eight days later for further treatment. The plaintiff was also treated with IV antibiotics for a post-operative wound infection. Five days later, his physicians cleared him for additional surgery where they removed a locking screw from his leg and performed a skin graft over his fasciotomy site. A week later, he was transferred to the TCU floor of Boston Medical Center where he remained for six days and underwent passive and ADL therapy. The plaintiff was discharged home and underwent an extensive course of physical therapy. The plaintiff was unable to return to work as a truck driver, but did regain significant mobility and strength in his left leg and returned to many of his pre-incident activities, including walking several miles a day.
The defendant argued that it had repeatedly warned the plaintiff that the off-loading process had begun, and that the plaintiff should have remained clear of his trailer once the off-loading had started. The plaintiff countered that he was totally unaware that the defendant had begun the off-loading process and that he was never warned him to stay clear of the load.
Medical bills totaled approximately $90,000. A total worker’s compensation lien in the amount of $181,000 was resolved for $90,000.
The case was settled after extensive discovery, following one full day of mediation.
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