Massachusetts Truck Accident-- Plaintiff Suffers Serious Orthopedic Injuries
On February 21, 2008, a tractor-trailer truck owned and operated by the defendant beverage distributor crossed over the center line and struck the vehicle operated by the 74-year-old plaintiff. The defendant truck driver claimed that the steering on the vehicle locked up after the truck passed over a bumpy railroad crossing. Inspection of the steering post-incident revealed no apparent defect or malfunction of the truck's steering. However, upon disassembly of the steering gear, markings were found inside the steering gear which indicated a possible mechanical lock-up.
Plaintiff suffered massive orthopedic injuries, including a fractured right ankle, and fractures over the left knee, left hip and left shoulder. Plaintiff was hospitalized and/or in a rehab facility for three months post-incident. Plaintiff eventually recovered from her orthopedic injuries and returned to her home.
It was expected that she would require ankle fusion, as well as knew, hip and shoulder replacements.
Plaintiff brought claims against the truck driver and the owner of the truck. On the eve of the trial, defendant moved to implead the truck manufacturer and steering gear manufacturer. The parties eventually agreed to sever and stay the third-party claims so that the plaintiff's claims against the truck owner and truck driver could proceed to trial. Following mediation with John Fitzgerald, the claim was settled for $3 million.
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