Jury Awards Man $348,000 for Elbow Fracture
Our client John* worked for a Bridgeport company which paints highway road markings. During the evening of October 17th John was working on a job site in Hartford. There were five men on the crew. Two of the men drive the two trucks. The other three men on the crew jumped on and off the lead truck between stops to paint the roadway markings.
This was dangerous work. The men worked on highways at night and safety rules had to be followed. On this particular night John was supposed to position himself safely on the back of the truck as it moved between markings. The driver of the truck who was ultimately in control of it had an obligation to make sure that his men followed the company safety rules before he moved the truck.
As the truck moved to its next location, John suddenly fell off the back of the truck, landing on his right arm. John knew that the accident was partly his own fault for having not positioned himself on the back of the truck inside the safety rails. However, he also felt that the driver of the truck was responsible as he drove the truck without John being inside the safety rails.
At first John did not think that he was injured. John by all accounts was a very hard worker and a very tough guy. He was a standout football player for Central High School in Bridgeport and had served as the captain of its team. John was not going to allow this injury to slow him down. He continued to work that night but the pain in his arm got progressively worse and he drove himself to the hospital to be checked out.
The doctor at the hospital told John that the x-rays they had taken did not show any fracture and he sent John home. He also told John that he should expect to get better. Instead, the pain in John’s arm got progressively worse.
Finally, John saw an orthopedic surgeon here in Bridgeport. That doctor took new x-rays of John’s arm and discovered that John had in fact broken his elbow. However, so much time had passed that the healing process had already occurred within the bone, resulting in a condition called a malunion.
John was then referred to an elbow specialist at Yale New Haven Hospital, who told him that his elbow injury was very serious, which required surgery. The surgery was a significant procedure and John had to be kept overnight at Yale New Haven Hospital.
Following his surgery, John engaged in many months of physical therapy trying to regain strength in his elbow. After all this hard work John was eventually released to return to work for his company, but, sadly, he was told his job was no longer available to him and he was laid off. John did not let that slow him down. Even in this down economy John worked very hard to get a job with a different company, where he presently does lawn maintenance work. John does not make as much money as he did at his former employer, but he is now able to provide for himself once again.
The doctor released John with 18% disability of his arm. He still has restriction in the elbow and pain when he uses heavy vibrating equipment. As John gets older he will develop arthritis in the elbow and it will become more and more painful to him. He will likely require more surgery in his elbow.
Normally when a person is injured on the job the only place that they can collect money is through workers’ compensation. However, the law in Connecticut allows an exception to that rule when an employee is injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident; he may sue his fellow employee who was operating the motor vehicle.
When John first retained Tremont Sheldon P.C. he was not aware that exception to the motor vehicle statute. He hired Attorney to represent him in a lawsuit to be filed against his co-employee who was driving the truck. He also retained Bob Sheldon to represent him in his claim for workers’ compensation benefits. John readily admitted that he was partly at fault for the motor vehicle accident. However, the driver of the truck always refused to admit that he was also partly responsible for John’s injuries. After almost two years of litigation, John finally got his day in Court.
On October 13th and October 14th, 2010 Attorney tried John’s case to a jury at the Bridgeport Superior Court House. Following two days of evidence, the jury deliberated for one hour before awarding John a total verdict in the amount of $696,016.72. The jury found John fifty percent at fault for his own injuries and the driver/co-employee 50% responsible. Therefore, John’s net verdict was for $348,008.36.
John was very satisfied with the result particularly because the insurance company never offered him a penny to settle the case and always took the position that John had no chance of winning his case.
After his trial John said, “Everybody at Tremont Sheldon P.C. did a great job for me”.
*Name has been changed.