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ARTICLE ID 195576

$________ – PREMISES LIABILITY – HAZARDOUS PREMISES – ELECTRIC SUPPLY COMPANY'S HYDRAULIC LIFT BREAKS – SUPPLY COMPANY NEGLIGENTLY CONTINUES TO DELIVER HEAVY MATERIALS TO CUSTOMERS DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE HYDRAULIC LIFT WAS NOT WORKING – PLAINTIFF COLLAPSES WHILE ATTEMPTING TO MANUALLY LIFT 80-________-POUND SPOOLS OF ELECTRICAL WIRE – LUMBAR HERNIATIONS – TWO LUMBAR FUSION SURGERIES – FAILED BACK SYNDROME – INSERTIONS OF SPINAL STIMULATOR AND INTERTHECAL PAIN PUMP – PERMANENT ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION – NEED TO INJECT BOTH SIDES OF HIS PENIS IN ORDER TO HAVE RELATIONS WITH HIS WIFE – PROBABLE FUTURE SURGERY FOR IMPLANTATION OF A PENILE PUMP PROSTHESIS.

Monmouth County, NJ

This case involved a 46-year-old plaintiff employee of an electrical subcontractor at a construction site in which the plaintiff contended that the defendant electrical supply company negligently decided to deliver heavy items to the job site, despite the fact that the hydraulic lift on its van was not functioning. The plaintiff also averred that the defendant electrical supply company violated its own policies and procedures by failing to follow its policy of keeping the safety of customers paramount in continuing to deliver the heavy material despite the fact that the hydraulic lift was not working, along with the failure to call dispatch when the lift was not functioning. In addition to the failure to call dispatch, the site permitted customers to reach into its van to obtain materials, and refused to drive to the usual point of delivery because the grounds were very muddy. The plaintiff also named the general contractor as a defendant, contending that it had overall responsibility for safety at the job site.

The plaintiff maintained that when the defendant electric supply company’s driver refused to take his van up to the usual delivery area, the plaintiff and a co-worker drove out to the area where the delivery van was located, and, feeling time pressure from the G.C. to get spools of electric wire back to the job site, began lifting the 80-________ lb spools. The plaintiff maintained that as he did so, he felt a very severe pain in his lower back, an audible "pop" was heard, and he collapsed.

The driver of the defendant delivery company’s van related that since the job site was extremely muddy, he was concerned that his vehicle would become stuck in the mud, and that he declined to take the van to the building under construction. The defendant G.C. maintained that it was clear that the area in which the lifting occurred did not contribute to the injury, and that there was an absence of proximate cause.

The plaintiff’s safety expert contended that the G.C. had a duty to monitor the site and correct any aspects that would prevent safe delivery of materials. Lumbar herniations at L3,4 and L5,S-1 were diagnosed shortly after the incident. The plaintiff underwent two initial lumbar fusion surgeries, which were inadequate. He then underwent a third lumbar surgery, in which a spinal stimulator was inserted. The plaintiff contended that the severe and unrelenting pain continued, and that shortly thereafter, a diagnosis of failed back syndrome was made. The plaintiff then underwent a fourth surgery in which an interthecal pain pump that supplies periodic doses of opiates to manage pain was installed. He opined that one of the side effects of the need for such pain medication is erectile dysfunction, and the plaintiff contended that since he will permanently require the medication, the dysfunction is permanent as well. He related that in order be capable of having relations with his wife; he must inject both sides of his penis. The plaintiff’s urologist also testified that it is probable that he will require future surgery for the implantation of a penile pump prosthesis.

The plaintiff contended that he is permanently unemployable.

The case settled after the testimony of two witnesses at trial for $________, including $________ from the defendant electrical supply company, and $________ from the defendant G.C.

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