The plaintiff, a 60 year-old Massachusetts professional truck driver, was delivering a shipment of heavy material to a large industrial vendor. The off-loading process was conducted solely by the defendant. During the off-loading process, 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 immediately called to the scene and quickly transported the plaintiff to the hospital for emergency surgery on his open tibia-fibula fractures. The procedure included the insertion of an intra-medullary rod in his tibia. He was transported to Boston Medical Center eight days after the accident 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. During this surgery, the doctors removed a locking screw from his leg and performed a skin graft over his fasciotomy site to improve the appearance of the scar. 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 eventually discharged home, but had to undergo an extensive course of physical therapy in order to improve his condition. The plaintiff was unable to return to work as a truck driver as a result of his injuries, but did regain significant mobility and strength in his left leg. Although he could not work as a truck driver, he was able to return to many of his pre-incident activities, including walking several miles a day.
The plaintiff filed a claim against the defendant to recover compensation for his injuries. 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 this was simply not true. The plaintiff claimed that he was totally unaware that the defendant had begun the off-loading process and that he was never warned by the defendant 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. The plaintiff was awarded a total of $900,000 for his injuries.
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