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$________ GROSS REDUCED BY 10% COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE Negligent Maintenance – Foot of insurance inspector visiting defendant warehouse is run over by forklift traveling in reverse – Negligence to warehouse for failing to provide back-up alarm and 25% negligence to forklift operator – Severe non-fracture wounds to foot.

Hudson County, NJ

The male plaintiff, age in his late 50s – an insurance inspector who was visiting the defendant warehouse to observe their procedures to ascertain if it had been partially responsible for damage to industrial sewing machines – contended that the defendant’s forklift operator failed to make proper observations as he was traveling in reverse, and also contended that the defendant warehouse should have supplied a back-up alarm. The evidence revealed that such alarms are not required by any regulation or standard when forklifts are sold, and that often, purchases add on such an alarm.

The plaintiff related that after he observed the unloading process, he needed to also observe the area the defendant stored the products, and that when he ventured to this area, his foot was run over. The defendant maintained that the plaintiff shouldn’t have been in this area, was akin to a trespasser, and maintained that the predominant cause of the incident was the actions of the plaintiff. The plaintiff countered that in order to complete his duties; he believed that he had to go to the second area to ascertain if the goods were stored properly. He maintained that he made an inquiry to the defendant as to the location such goods was stored, was advised of the area, and that the incident occurred shortly thereafter. The defendant denied that the plaintiff had such a conversation with a worker, and supported that the incident occurred in an area where he was unauthorized to gather information. The plaintiff also maintained that irrespective of this issue, the forklift should have been operated in a safe manner to avoid injury to warehouse employees.

The plaintiff contended that he sustained three lacerations to the foot, and that one entailed an open wound, which took almost a year to heal. The plaintiff supported that although he ultimately was able to return to work, he is limited, because much of the work entails working on ships and climbing ladders, which he maintained is quite painful.The jury found the warehouse 65% negligent, the forklift operator 25% negligent, and the plaintiff 10% comparatively negligent. They then rendered gross awards of $________ for past lost earnings, $________ for future lost earnings, $________ for past and future pain and suffering, and $________ on the wife’s per quod claim.

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