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ARTICLE ID 143019

$________ Warehouse negligence - employee released dock plate, pinning the arm under the weight of his truck - Shattered bones in arm - Nerve damage - Loss of consortium.

San Diego County, California

In this negligence action, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant’s employee negligently released the dock plate, crushing the plaintiff’s arm under the weight of his ________ pound truck. The defendant denied the allegations and maintained that the plaintiff and his employer were at fault.

On September 27, ________, the male plaintiff, a freight company employee, was making his first delivery of the afternoon to the defendant, Clark Security Products. The plaintiff was operating a large rig semi-truck with a twenty-six foot trailer. The contents of the trailer had been loaded by the plaintiff’s employer and consisted of several pallets of metal and steel security components. The plaintiff arrived at the defendant’s loading dock at approximately 1:00 p.m. and backed his rig up to the loading dock. The plaintiff had made several deliveries to the defendant’s dock and was familiar with the dock operations and unloading procedures. He walked up the steps and entered the loading dock platform. The defendant had a dock plate device that extended from the end of the dock. As he had done in the past, the plaintiff operated the dock plate and released the handle backward and then forward to extend the plate outwards onto the floor of the plaintiff’s truck. The pallets were located at the rear of the truck and the dock plate was unable to fully extend due to the pallets at the rear of the truck. The dock plate needed to be fully extended and flush with the floor of the truck in order to unload the freight.

The plaintiff engaged the services of one of the defendant’s dock employees in order to maneuver the truck and the dock plate so that the freight could be unloaded. The plaintiff would pull the truck forward the defendant’s employee would try to manipulate the dock plate into the proper position. After several attempts, the dock plate was still not in the proper position. The plaintiff was now outside of the truck standing on the ground. Believing that the dock hand did not understand his verbal instructions, the plaintiff gestured that the plate needed to be level with the edge of the truck floor. Simultaneously, the defendant’s employee suddenly pulled the handle of the dock plate allowing it to release. The dock plate snapped up, the truck rolled back and the plaintiff’s arm was between the truck and dock.

The plaintiff sustained a severe crushing injury to his left arm. His arm was pinned under the weight of his ________ pound truck. He could hear bones snapping and cracking. The plaintiff’s elbow was shattered. The plaintiff underwent eight hour reconstructive surgery and a lengthy hospitalization. He still experiences radiating pain and has a limited range of motion. His arm has suffered strength issues and atrophy. Due to his inability to fully use his left arm, he has experienced neck and back injuries in his effort to compensate for the left arm injuries.

The plaintiff brought suit against the defendant, alleging negligence by its employee in releasing the dock plate. The plaintiff’s wife brought a loss of consortium claim. The plaintiff alleged medical specials of over $________ and a lost wage claim of $________.

The defendant denied the allegations and maintained that the plaintiff was liable for his own injuries. Further, the defendant argued that the plaintiff’s employer was negligent in improperly loading the truck.

The parties mediated the claim and settled the matter for the sum of $________. The plaintiff’s attorney was also able to negotiate a 75% reduction in the plaintiff’s worker’s compensation lien.

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