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Montgomery County, PA

The plaintiff was a 56-year-old carpenter in December 23, ________, when he claimed he was struck by a forklift at a Montgomery County job site. The plaintiff brought suit against the heating/air-conditioning subcontractor whose employee was operating the forklift at the time. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant’s employee negligently reversed the heavy machine and pinned the plaintiff against a wall. The defendant denied that the accident occurred as alleged by the plaintiff.

The plaintiff claimed that he was working on construction at a retail store in the Plymouth Meeting Mall when the defendant’s employee started a forklift truck which was positioned nearby to move equipment, supplies, and materials. He contended that the forklift moved in reverse, struck him in the abdomen, and pinned him against a wall. He opined that the defendant’s employee stated at the time that he had accidentally put the forklift in reverse instead of forward. The plaintiff also asserted that he did not hear any back-up alarm or other warning as the machine approached.

The plaintiff sought medical treatment at the end of his shift. He claimed crush injuries to his abdomen and legs with bowel and bladder incontinence. The plaintiff was diagnosed with sprain and strain injuries and myofascial pain syndrome. He claimed he suffered disc injuries, an altered gait, and now has difficulty walking. The plaintiff contended that his age, limited education, and the injuries sustained, rendered him totally and permanently disabled from employment. The plaintiff’s economist calculated the plaintiff’s total economic damages to be approximately $________.

The defendant’s forklift operator denied that the incident occurred as alleged by the plaintiff. The defendant stressed that the plaintiff continued working until the end of the day on December 23, ________, and did not report the alleged incident to his employer until six days later, December 29, ________. The defense also argued that there was no evidence that the back-up alarm on the forklift was not functioning, with no reason that the plaintiff would not have heard the machine if it approached him.

On damages, the defendant argued that the plaintiff’s medical complaints stemmed from preexisting degenerative disc disease, not trauma. The defendant argued that there was no evidence that the plaintiff sustained injury as alleged, and his claimed loss of bladder control was not supported by objective diagnostic testing. The defense stressed that the plaintiff’s bladder complaints began more than a year after the alleged incident. In addition, the plaintiff had had undergone prior neck and lumbar surgery.The case was settled prior to trial for $________.

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