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ARTICLE ID 194615

$________ GROSS – ROAD CONSTRUCTION INSPECTOR IS APPARENTLY DISTRACTED BY WORK AND IS STRUCK BY STEAMROLLER TRAVELING AT 2 MPH, CRUSHING THE LOWER PORTION OF HIS BODY INTO HOT ASPHALT – DECEDENT PLACED IN MEDICALLY-INDUCED COMA APPROXIMATELY ONE HOUR AFTER INCIDENT AND DIES 11 DAYS LATER

Middlesex County, NJ

This action involved a 29-year old construction inspector who was struck by a steam roller that was traveling at two mph when he was apparently involved in looking at his clipboard. The plaintiff contended that the operator of the defendant’s steamroller negligently failed to make proper observations of the decedent approaching. The decedent was married approximately one year earlier, and had no children. He was in this country on a work visa that was set to expire three years after the death, unless the decedent was sponsored by another employer. The defendant contended that the primary cause of the incident was the negligent failure of the decedent to make observations, and maintained that in view of the slow speed of the steam roller, it was evident that the negligence of the decedent was particularly great.

The plaintiff supported that the jury should consider that the decedent was wearing a bright orange vest and should have been very visible to the defendant, who was operating potentially deadly equipment. The evidence disclosed that the decedent was bending down at the moment he was struck, and that the lower portion of his body was crushed into the hot asphalt. The decedent shouted that water should be poured onto him, and the response was that such water would instantly change into fatal steam. The decedent suffered third degree burns to 27% of his total body and multiple fractures, and that the pain and suffering associated with the incident was clearly excruciating. The defendant contended that the decedent was placed in a medically-induced coma approximately one hour after the incident occurred, and did not regain consciousness before dying 11 days later. The plaintiff’s economist projected income losses of approximately $________. The decedent was an Indian national in this country on a work visa that would expire three years after the death, unless an employer would sponsor him. The defendant presented an expert immigration attorney who related that unless so sponsored, it was likely that the decedent would have been deported.

The defendant’s economist offered projections of lost income that were based upon the expected earnings in India. The economist estimated $________ in such losses. The court held that the defendant had the burden of proof on the issue of whether the decedent would have remained in this country.The jury found the defendant 70% negligent and the decedent 30% comparatively negligent. They then rendered a gross award of $________. The gross award was allocated as follows: $________ for medical bills, $________ for pain and suffering, $________ for the loss of guidance, and advice under Green vs. Bitner, $________ for past income loss and $________ for future income loss.

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