Attorney Mark W. Tanner negotiated a $2.15 million settlement on behalf of the widow of a 66-year-old truck driver in Osmun v. Atlantic States.
Charles Osmun was a real life hero, who, in his attempts to save his trainee’s life, was seriously injured. On August 12, 2009, Mr. Osmun, a tractor-trailer operator for SMP, Inc, arrived with his trainee to Atlantic States plant to pick up two trailers loaded with large iron pipes. At the time, Atlantic States had forgotten to place a skid of fittings on the flatbed prior to Mr. Osmun’s arrival. Atlantic States rushed to finish the load. In its haste, it failed to properly remove one stack of pipes in order to make room for the skid of fittings. Instead, Atlantic States instructed Mr. Osmun and his trainee to remove the chains from the load of pipe. At the same time, the forklift operator attempted to squeeze the fittings between two stacks of pipes by jamming them with a forklift. Atlantic States’ “spotter” was supposed to direct traffic and ensure that no one was in the loading zone while the load was ongoing. However, no one warned Mr. Osmun, his trainee, or the forklift operator that the area was not yet clear for live loading. As a result, the forklift operator knocked off one of the 18 foot-long, ductile iron pipe weighing somewhere between 800 and 1,100 pounds.
Mr. Osmun, recognizing that his trainee was in grave danger, courageously and successfully pushed his trainee out of harm’s way. In the process, the iron pipe landed on top of Mr. Osmun, crushing him from his stomach to his chest. It took several men and a forklift to raise the pipe off Mr. Osmun’s body. Mr. Osmun was flown via helicopter to St. Luke’s Hospital in Fountain Hill, Pa. Mr. Osmun sustained catastrophic injuries and endured multiple surgeries and a painful and debilitating medical course lasting more than six months when he died suddenly from a cardiac arrest. He leaves behind his loving wife of 46 years, Clare, who is a retired kindergarten teacher, and their three adult children.