Attorneys Mark W. Tanner and Peter M. Newman, together with co-counsel Christine Benedum, obtained a $2.25 million verdict from a Philadelphia jury for a client who was injured on a construction site in South Philadelphia as the result of the negligent operation of an excavator by an employee of Wampole Miller, Inc., a/k/a Miller Brothers. On the day of the accident, the plaintiff delivered steel panels to the construction site on a flatbed trailer and assisted Miller Brothers employees as they unloaded the panels using an excavator with chains attached to the tip of the boom. The excavator operator negligently caused one of the chains to become looped over the boom of the excavator, creating a dangerous condition. The plaintiff signaled to the operator to stop and was walking toward the excavator to give him further instructions, when the operator disregarded that stop signal and swung the panels down to the ground, striking plaintiff in the hip and knocking him to the ground.
As a result of the impact, the plaintiff sustained a fracture of his right ankle, which required surgical repair with screws. He also sustained injuries to his lumbar spine, including a disc herniation and development of a traumatic synovial cyst, for which he underwent lumbar spine surgery. Unfortunately, the plaintiff then developed chronic regional pain syndrome and continues to experience pain despite implantation of a spinal cord stimulator. He is fully disabled from employment at the age of 55.
To prove that Miller Brothers acted negligently and to establish the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries, attorneys Tanner, Newman and Benedum called seven expert witnesses, including a nationally renowned expert in the field of excavator and rigging operation and several local doctors. Defense experts attempted unsuccessfully to convince the jury that the accident could not have occurred as plaintiff testified it did, that the accident was entirely plaintiff’s fault, and that his injuries were pre-existing.
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