A federal jury in West Virginia ordered two trucking companies to pay a commercial truck driver more than $5.4 million after his foot was severely crushed on the job and he was forced to undergo a partial leg amputation.
According to Land Line mag, plaintiff Richard Edwards Jr., a commercial truck driver, was helping his boss, David McGowan, to load metal pipes onto his truck with a forklift. Mr. Edwards drove trucks for McElliotts Trucking, a Huntington, West Virginia-based trucking firm owned by Mr. Edwards.
Mr. McGowan first secured the forks of the forklift to a strap that wrapped around the pipe while the pipe was lying on the ground. He then lifted the pipe from the ground by the strap and placed the pipe onto the truck, the complaint stated, according to Land Line.
Mr. Edwards was unloading the last section of pipe when Mr. McGowan “suddenly and unexpectedly backed the forklift up pulling the heavy pipe off the truck,” the lawsuit alleged, according to Land Line. The pipe crushed Mr. Edwards’ foot so severely that he was forced to undergo an amputation of his leg below the knee at the hospital.
Mr. Edwards alleges the October 2016 work accident triggered physical pain and suffering and enormous expenses for medical treatments, lost work, and reduced earning capacity. He sued McElliotts Trucking in February 2016 along with Cardinal Transport of Coal City, Illinois, alleging seven counts of negligence and five other counts.
According to Land Line, the lawsuit stated that McElliotts and Cardinal did business as a joint operation and that the commercial truck they were unloading at the time belonged to Cardinal.
A jury in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia, awarded Mr. Edwards $5,415,811 after finding McElliotts guilty of negligence and Cardinal liable for the negligence of McElliotts.