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$________ Forklift Negligence – Backing up forklift strikes plaintiff delivery person from behind – Negligent supervision – Multiple bilateral foot fractures – Right meniscal tears – Plaintiff restricted to light duty.

U.S. District Court - Eastern District of New York

This case involved a plaintiff, approximately 60, who was delivering lumber to the defendant’s lumber yard. The plaintiff contended that as he returned to his truck double-parked opposite the lumber yard driveway, he was struck from behind by the defendant’s forklift backing from driveway into the roadway. The forklift operator lacked OSHA required forklift operation safety training and was driving with only a learners’ permit and the plaintiff contended that proper supervision was not provided. The plaintiff also established that at the time, the forklift operator had ear buds inserted. The plaintiff maintained that in view of this evidence and the fact that he was overtaken from behind by the forklift, there was no basis for a finding of comparative negligence. The defendant maintained that the plaintiff’s failure to hear the back-up alarm showed comparative negligence and such issue should be considered by the jury.

The plaintiff countered that ambient noise interfered with his ability to do so. The plaintiff also argued that he was simply walking where he had a right to be and that there was no basis for a finding of comparative negligence. The court concurred and granted plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on liability.

The plaintiff contended that he suffered multiple fractures to both feet, a fracture to the right ankle and a tear of the medial meniscus on the right side. The plaintiff required an open reduction to treat the ankle fracture and arthroscopic surgery to address the knee. The plaintiff maintained that he will suffer permanent pain and limitations and be restricted to light duty. The plaintiff also contended that everyday activities such as climbing stairs are painful and difficult.The defendant had $________ in coverage. The case settled before the damages trial for $________.

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