Truck Collides With Car - Accident Causes Multiple Fractures, Surgery, Other Injuries
On September 28, 2007, defendant's 18-wheel truck slammed into the rear of the car that our 51-year-old plaintiff was operating in Marlboro, Massachusetts while on a business trip from his home in California. Plaintiff's vehicle was propelled over a sidewalk and through a pole which landed on top of the car. Plaintiff, a previously healthy executive, suffered major orthopedic injuries, including an L1 burst fracture requiring emergency spinal fusion in Massachusetts, fractured eye socket, fractures in his fingers which were surgically repaired, and rib fractures. After a lengthy period of recuperation, plaintiff discovered that he also suffered from erectile dysfunction, which his spine surgeon related to injuries suffered in the collision. Plaintiff's first spinal fusion failed, and a second spinal fusion was performed in California approximately one year after the collision occurred. Plaintiff's rehabilitation was long and difficult. He was diligent in doing everything possible to make as close to a full recovery as possible. Plaintiff's medical bills and some a portion of his lost earnings were paid by his employer's workers compensation insurance company which was reimbursed from his settlement.
Plaintiff made great efforts to continue working through much of his rehabilitation. Prior to the accident, he was a valued member of the management team at his company. The deposition of the CEO of his company revealed that plaintiff's reduced ability to work for two years at the same capacity he had in the years before the incident contributed to the declining revenues of the company.
Prior to the collision, plaintiff was an active cyclist, hiker, and gardener. His inability to engage in these activities for two years was a profound loss for him. Following his two-year recovery from his injuries, the only restrictions placed on plaintiff's activities by his spine surgeon relate to how much weight plaintiff can carry while hiking. Plaintiff continues in his capacity as an executive with his company on a full-time basis.
Plaintiff's wife filed a claim for loss of consortium. Her deposition testimony related to the loss she suffered in connection with the intimate aspects of their marriage was compelling.
Defendant entered into a stipulation as to liability. At each deposition taken in various states including Florida, Tennessee and California, a representative of defendant's risk management committee was present.
The case settled for 2.5 million dollars approximately one month after an all-day mediation.
The case is illustrative of cases against trucking companies. Often the owner of the cab will lease the trailer from another company. They may have separate insurers. The causes of the collision range from equipment problems to driver error to company induced pressure for the driver to drive too many hours in violation of Federal rules and regulations. Cases against trucking companies are often removed to Federal court by the defendants to avoid what they may perceive as more generous state court juries.