A worker who survived being crushed by a 2,800-pound electrical transformer has been awarded $8.5 million in a lawsuit against the delivery company and his employer.
Jason Pinnock, an employee of National Delivery Services, was assisting with the offloading of the transformer from a Midway Services truck, who had taken the delivery of the massive device. When another worker pushed the transformer into Pinnock, it fell onto him, law.com reports.
According to Pinnock’s pretrial memorandum, he “lay crushed and screaming on the ground” until other workers could come to his aid. When the workers attempted to lift the device off of him using their own strength, they accidentally dropped it onto him again. A skid lifter was required to lift the transformer away.
Pinnock sustained a fractured spine, pelvis, and fibula as well as several torn ligaments as a result.
When Pinnock filed the lawsuit, Midway claimed the accident was his own fault. Instead of taking responsibility for the worker who pushed the transformer, the company alleged that Pinnock’s inexperience was to blame.
“Midway is not liable for this accident,” the company’s court papers said. “Unbeknownst to Midway, plaintiff had been in the delivery business for less than four months and had no experience delivering objects of the size of this particular transformer.”
The jury, however, sided with Pinnock, finding Midway 65 percent causally negligent. Pinnock’s employer, National Delivery Services, was found 35 percent negligent, but had already settled under a joint tortfeasor agreement.
“Our client was very disappointed with the verdict and is planning to appeal,” said Midway’s attorney.
Pinnock and his attorney were pleased with the outcome.
“We were very excited by the jury’s verdict,” Pinnock’s attorney said. “It was clear in talking with them after the verdict that they did understand the issue that had been presented in the case and had worked very hard to understand what was going on.
“Though the lawyering on both sides was good,” the attorney added, “the verdict has much more to do with the fact that we had an outstanding client that the jury really liked. And I just had the good sense not to make too many mistakes and not to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.”