A 52-year-old dump truck driver was involved in an accident while on the job. Plaintiff-dump truck driver was heading northbound on a highway when Defendant-driver was heading westbound on an intersecting road. Defendant-driver stopped at the train tracks along the highway for a passing train, waiting to make a left turn. After the railroad gates went up, Defendant-driver turned left and was crossing the highway when the front of his pickup truck struck the passenger side of Plaintiff-driver's dump truck. Plaintiff brought suit against Defendant-driver as well as against Plaintiff's employer. Defendants stipulated to negligence and the case proceeded to jury for a trial on damages. Plaintiff claimed injuries to his neck and lower back as a result of the collision. He underwent a percutaneous plasma disc decompression at the T12-L1 level and a fusion at L5-S1, which his physicians causally related to the impact. The plaintiff also underwent psychiatric treatment for chronic back pain. Defendant-driver argued that Plaintiff's neck and back conditions were either preexisting or were caused by a subsequent motor vehicle accident. The jury found that Plaintiff did not sustain a permanent injury as a result of the accident and awarded $31,000 in past medical expenses.
VERDICT: $35,000 (after appropriate set-offs and the addition of the plaintiff's costs.)
Brungart v. Allnut, et al.