This was a premises liability case. We represented a truck driver. The Defendants controlled commercial property where a fall occurred. Tractor-trailers come and go from the facility all day and night. Our client slipped and fell due to the icy condition of the facility’s parking lot. He fell after getting out of his cab, while attempting to operate a cranking device used to secure a trailer to a truck.
The fall occurred at approximately 4:00 AM, when it was dark and cold. Defendants admitted that the kind of work our client was doing required him to walk and/or stand in the spaces between the trailers. Defendants, however, did not clear those areas of snow and ice, and did not treat those areas with salt.
Our client had a history of back problems, including previous back surgery from many years earlier. As recently as a few weeks before the incident, he saw an orthopedic doctor for this. His medical history placed him at increased risk of injury in the event of a fall. Despite his medical history, he was working full time as a truck driver with absolutely no work restrictions.
When the pain did not subside after the subject fall, he went to the emergency room. He began a course of conservative treatment, but within two months of the incident, a CT scan revealed a new back injury that aligned perfectly with the symptoms that began with the fall: A herniated disc at L3-4 with impingement on the nerve. This herniated disc, in conjunction with his previous back history, left him in chronic pain.
The case settled at mediation just days before trial was to begin.