Traumatic Brain Injury Figured Prominently in Unique Trial
Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) March 11, 2019 – A Texas shipping supervisor was awarded over $1 million after a 3-year legal tussle.
The accident that caused this worker to ultimately sue a trucking company happened in 2016 while the man was working as a shipping supervisor at CFW in Gainsville, Texas. A truck owned by KLD and driven by a KLD trucker, arrived at CFW to pick up a load to be delivered.
The driver noticed something was wrong with the cargo door of the 20-foot box truck. He asked the shipping supervisor to assess what was wrong with the overhead truck door. As the supervisor stepped into the truck to evaluate the issue, the door fell on him. He sustained a brain injury and was off work for approximately three months. Additionally, the man went through physical therapy and a transcutaneous discal resection of the L5-S1 vertebrae.
The three months were particularly difficult for the man, as he regularly locked himself in the garage or his room and would not interact with his family. On medical assessment, a neuropsychologist indicated the man was permanently cognitively impaired and suffered from chronic depression and anxiety. Luckily, his employer allowed him to remain on staff despite missing work.
“The plaintiff worker’s attorneys discovered that KLD had no policies/procedures in place to reveal defects with their equipment and that prior to the date of the accident the same truck had been to CFW with the same defective door,” said Austin personal injury attorney, Brooks Schuelke, not involved in the case. The attorneys argued that KLD knew or should have known of the defect. Additionally, the lawyers indicated that KLD may have attempted to hide evidence by not producing requested documents.
During the trial to settle whether or not the worker was entitled to compensation for his injuries, the defense claimed the man was not injured at work and that the door falling on him was the result of his negligence and the negligence of the employer. The jury did not agree with that argument and handed down an award of $1,134,000 for past and future medical care, future loss of earnings, past and future mental anguish, past and future physical pain, and past impairment. The verdict was: 90 percent liability apportioned to KLD and 10 percent apportioned to the truck driver.