$550,000: Master Mechanic Suffers Severe Hand Injuries While Examining Bus Engine
September 23, 2010
CASE DESCRIPTION: Plaintiff Candelario R. brought a personal injury lawsuit against Defendant Doe, Inc. after sustaining a severe injury to his right hand and forearm due to the negligent actions of Defendant Doe, Inc. Furthermore, Maria R. brought a claim for Loss of Consortium as a result of her husband’s injury.
RESULT: $550,000 Paid to Plaintiffs
On May 10, 2007 what began as a required and routine pre-trip bus inspection for 50 year old Candelario R., ended in a disastrous incident. Candelario R. was examining the engine of a bus owned by his employer. The bus had recently been repaired by Defendant Doe, Inc. At that time, the owner Doe, Inc. attempted to start the bus’s engine without warning or authorization to do so. As a result, plaintiff’s hand was caught in one of the engine belts and severely injured. Immediately following, Mr. R was taken to a local emergency room at Kaiser Bellflower and then transferred to UCLA medical center due to the serious nature of his hand injuries. The plaintiff underwent several procedures on his right hand and forearm.
Even after extensive and painful rehabilitation, Mr. R’s hand is severely compromised. He has lost both grip strength and dexterity in his injured hand. He is no longer able to perform all the heavy duties of a mechanic that he once performed.
Plaintiffs contended that the incident was largely the fault of the Defendant for turning on the bus engine without ensuring that no one was inspecting the engine compartment.
The defendant contended that at least two-thirds of the liability rested with Plaintiff and his employer for failing to activate the engine compartment engine “kill” switch that was available. Defendant further contended that the failure to use this switch and USC’s lack of training on the use of engine “kill” switches constituted an OSHA regulation violation.
TYPE OF CASE: Personal Injury: General Negligence and general Negligence/Loss of Consortium
INJURIES: As a result of this incident, Mr. R. sustained “multiple crush and avulsion injuries of the digits to the right hand and forearm.” Mr. R. was diagnosed with the following major injuries.
- Traumatic amputation of the right thumb.
- Complex lacerations to the right index, middle and ring fingers.
- Fracture dislocation of the right ring finger.
- Extensor tendon central flip avulsion of right ring finger.
- Comminuted fracture of the right ulna.
DATE & LOCATION OF INCIDENT: Incident occurred on May 10, 2007 at Doe Inc., Los Angeles, California.
PLAINTIFF’S AGE: Candelario R. is 50 years of age.
OCCUPATION: Master Mechanic
PLAINTIFF’S ATTORNEYS: Darren O. Aitken (AITKEN * AITKEN * COHN)
DEFENDANT’S ATTORNEYS: Angelo DuPlantier, Esq. (GILBERT, KELLY, CROWLEY & JEANNETT LLP)
INTERVENOR’S ATTORNEYS: Mark E. Joseph, Esq. (PEARLMAN, BORSKA & WAX, LLP)
DEFENDANT INSURANCE COMPANY: Oregon Mutual Insurance Company
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