Former Schneider Driver Awarded $1.9 MILLION For Injuries Suffered Unloading Trailer
DeKalb County, Georgia – A truck driver was recently awarded $1.9 million after a jury found injuries suffered by the trucker while unloading a trailer were a result of negligence on the part of the company whose responsibility it was to load the trailer.
Truck driver and plaintiff, 51-year-old Jeffrey Day, was employed by Schneider National at the time of the accident which occurred November 8, 2010.
Day served as a professional driver and freight handler for the mega carrier.
Named as defendants in the case were APL Logistics Warehouse Management and APL Logistics Americas Ltd.
According to court documents, Schneider National was contracted to pick up pre-loaded 53-foot trailers at a Stein Mart distribution center operated by APL and deliver them to stores.
The loads were divided into three sections separated by plywood barriers, and at each stop, one portion would be dropped off and the trailer resealed for the trip to the next store.
Day was unloading boxes at the second of three stops when the load from third stop shifted, and at least two boxes fell on him.
He then continued on and made the third delivery before retiring to his sleeper for his 10-hour break.
The next day the truck driver sought out medical attention for pain he was experiencing in his neck and back, according to court documents.
A medical examiner testified that there was evidence of bruising to Day’s neck and back.
Further, Day required multiple surgeries, including two spinal fusions.
Records indicate he is still undergoing pain management treatment and epidural injections and was deemed medically unfit to drive a truck.
Day would later file a worker’s compensation claim with Schneider that was ultimately settled in 2011 before the carrier eventually let him go.
Day’s legal team argued that the defendants’ employees failed to “exercise ordinary care” and where “negligent when loading the trailer.”
Further, the plaintiff argued, “APL breached their duty by not properly supervising, managing, training, directing the unitizing and loading, securing, and assembling the freight to be transported by Mr. Day in a manner that he would not become injured or anyone else would become injured as a result of unloading the same freight.”
APL denied negligence and also contended Day’s injuries were not caused by the alleged incident and not as extensive and severe as the plaintiff claimed.
Numerous medical and trucking “experts” testified for both sides during the six-day trial.
Day’s team asked the jury to award $4.5 million, while the defense suggested a range from zero to about $300,000.
After only seven hours of deliberations, the jury awarded $2,766,272 in damages, apportioning 20 percent of the fault to Day and 10 percent to Schneider, for an award of $1,936,390.