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Latest Work Comp Case Magically Brings Third Party Recovery

Loading Dock Jose Lara, a UPS delivery driver since 1979, made thousands of pickups and deliveries from the loading dock of the Arco Towers without incident. On the date of accident, he backed his truck up to the loading dock and placed his cart and three loads of packages onto the dock. He was stepping up onto the dock, a distance of two feet, while holding onto the UPS handrail inside of his truck, when his left foot slipped off a 3-inch metal edge strip on the dock. His left foot went down between the face of the dock and the metal step of the UPS truck striking the concrete floor four feet below. He sustained a severe LisFranc fracture complex to his left foot and a torn meniscus in each knee. There were no witnesses to the accident. There was a video camera on the dock that captured the accident, but the videotape was not preserved by the management company despite knowing about the accident.

Tape Measure
The property defendants claimed that the UPS driver did not make contact with the top of the metal edge strip but missed it entirely. Defendants' biomechanical expert reconstructed the accident and claimed that his left foot slid down the face of the dock. Defendants' mechanical engineer expert claimed that the metal edge strip was not slippery and had a safe coefficient of friction. Defendants' property management expert opined that the building had no notice of other accidents at the dock and that plaintiff had made thousands of past deliveries at the dock without slipping. Defendants blamed the plaintiff for causing the accident and his injuries.
Truck in Dock
Plaintiffs' expert produced twelve examples of slip-resistant dock edges that would have provided slip-resistance and prevented the accident. The case settled on the second day of trial for $750,000 exclusive of the workers' compensation lien of $325,000.

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