A garbage-truck driver was awarded $11.3 million for back injuries sustained when his truck's front wheel failed due to a defective hub. The 998 offer was only $350,000, and the offer at trial was $1 million.
The defendants are jointly and severally liable for economic damages of $2,397,854. The defendants are liable for their respective share of fault for non-economic damages
Date and place of incident: October 29, 2007, on a road near Livermore (CA) airport
Facts: Plaintiff, a garbage-truck driver for 22 years, was driving his 57,500 pound garbage truck when the front wheel hub fractured, causing the right front wheel to detach. The garbage truck crashed down to the pavement, injuring plaintiff.Please show claims, contentions and all disputed matters under contentions rather than facts. Facts stated here should be only those in evidence.
That defendant companies were aware the wheel hubs should not be used at the capacities they were rated for, as evidenced by emails between engineers of defendants Consolidated Metco and Volvo Truck.
The vehicle was made in 2001 and the manufacturers were advised in 2004 that the hubs and wheel assembly of the vehicle was failing in similar vehicles; that three-and-a-half years lapsed between the notice of the defect and the plaintiff's injury-causing event. In spite of actual knowledge of the nature, scope and degree of the risks presented, the defendants did not attempt to recall the product or warn of the danger. Plaintiff contended that this demonstrated willful disregard for the rights and safety of the drivers of the garbage trucks and the vehicles that share the highway with them.
As to injuries, that plaintiff suffered a compression injury to the spine. Plaintiff has undergone three surgeries thus far and will require more. His constant pain has kept him from working.
That the vehicle was not defective; that defendants had no notice of the defect and that the accident was not the proximate cause of plaintiff's injuries; that there were insufficient forces in the event to cause injury; that plaintiff's injuries were the result of a previously undiagnosed degenerative condition; that plaintiff was not injured in the event beyond a sprain/strain injury of two year's duration; that plaintiff failed to mitigate his damages.
Bulging disc at L5, facet disruption, spondylolisthesis and radicular pain.