Type of action: Personal injury
Injuries alleged: Bilateral foot fractures, bursitis of the left shoulder, major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and concussion
Court: Charles City County Circuit Court
Verdict or settlement: Settlement
Attorney for plaintiff: Tara A. Enix, Richmond
Description of case: The 58-year-old plaintiff was working with a team installing fiber-optic cable lines in Charles City County. The plaintiff parked his bucket truck on the side of the roadway so he could access the necessary communication lines. In order to warn other drivers of his presence, the plaintiff set out a “Utility Work Ahead” as well as cones around his vehicle and activated lights on top of his truck. The defendant rear-ended the plaintiff’s truck, causing it to lurch forward, knocking plaintiff to the ground. The defendant claimed the sun was in her eyes. No tickets were issued.
The plaintiff’s feet became stuck under the wheels of his truck. The plaintiff was eventually able to free his left foot; however, he was unable to free his right foot, leaving him pinned for approximately 30 minutes. Bystanders attempted to help the plaintiff but were unable to lift the truck using a standard jack. Firefighters were able to use a larger jack to lift the truck and free the plaintiff.
The plaintiff was transported to VCU Medical Center where he was diagnosed with bilateral foot fractures. The plaintiff subsequently developed pressure ulcers on his right foot. During his recovery the plaintiff was unable to work and required a wheelchair or crutches. As he was knocked to the ground the plaintiff also struck his left shoulder, resulting in bursitis. The plaintiff received multiple injections to alleviate the pain in his left shoulder.
The liability carrier tendered its limits of $50,000. The plaintiff pursued a claim through his underinsured motorist coverage.
Negligence was admitted but the defense argued the plaintiff was contributorily negligent because he was parked partly in the roadway at the time of the wreck.
While mediation was initially unsuccessful, the case was resolved nine days before a two-day trial was set to begin.
Plaintiff’s counsel Tara A. Enix provided case information.