Worker claimed brain injury in fall on flatbed truck
|Workplace, Slips, Trips & Falls - Fall from Height|
|Charles Robison and Cherie Robison v. West Star Transportation Inc., No. 2009-546,118|
|Lubbock County District Court, 72nd, TX|
- Christopher T. Carver; Lubbock, TX, for Charles Robison, Cherie Robison
- Dara G. Hegar; The Lanier Law Firm, P.C.; Houston, TX, for Cherie Robison, Charles Robison
- Mark Lanier; The Lanier Firm, P.C.; Houston, TX, for Charles Robison, Cherie Robison
- Robert E. Leone; The Lanier Law Firm, P.C.; Houston, TX, for Charles Robison, Cherie Robison
- Judson A. Waltman; Lanier Law Firm; Houston, TX, for Charles Robison, Cherie Robison
- William Quintanilla; Vocational Rehabilitation; Houston, TX called by: Mark Lanier, Christopher Carver, Dara Hegar, Robert Leone, Judson Waltman
- Kenneth Thompson; Transportation/Highway Safety -- See also Technical: Safety; Louisburg, KS called by: Mark Lanier, Christopher Carver, Dara Hegar, Robert Leone, Judson Waltman
- Gary Konrad Ph.D.; Economics; Nacogdoches, TX called by: Mark Lanier, Christopher Carver, Dara Hegar, Robert Leone, Judson Waltman
- Alex Willingham M.D.; Life Care Planning; San Antonio, TX called by: Mark Lanier, Christopher Carver, Dara Hegar, Robert Leone, Judson Waltman
- Robert L. Duncan; Crenshaw, Dupree & Milam; Lubbock, TX, for West Star Transportation Inc.
- Arlene Matthews; Crenshaw, Dupree & Milam; Lubbock, TX, for West Star Transportation Inc.
- William J. Wade; Crenshaw, Dupree & Milam; Lubbock, TX, for West Star Transportation Inc.
- Charles Thomas; Truck Industry Policy & Procedures; Masfield, TX called by: Robert Duncan, Arlene Matthews, William Wade
- Lexington Insurance Co.
On April 23, 2007, plaintiff Charles Robison, a 52-year-old truck driver employed by West Star Transportation, fell from the top of a crate that had been loaded onto the trailer of his flatbed truck in Lubbock. West Star was not a workers' compensation subscriber. He sustained multiple fractures and claimed a brain injury.
Robison sued West Star, claiming he was instructed to put a tarp over his cargo. Plaintiff's counsel maintained that West Star failed to provide a reasonably safe workplace due to a lack of fall protection equipment and safety training. The plaintiffs' trucking industry expert testified the lack of fall protection equipment was unsafe.
West Star denied negligence, arguing Robison's workplace was as safe as it could be reasonably made. Defense counsel argued that the crate Robison was standing on broke, causing an unavoidable accident. Defense counsel argued that Robison had no specific instructions to put the tarp on. The defense trucking industry expert testified that Robison's workplace was safe by industry standards.
Robison sustained skull and facial fractures, a fracture to his right clavicle and a fracture of the distal radius of his dominant right wrist. The wrist fracture required internal fixation.
Plaintiff's counsel maintained that Robison sustained a traumatic brain injury, resulting in permanent cognitive deficits and decreased impulse and anger control. Plaintiff's counsel claimed the effects of this have included the impulse purchase of a car followed by its sale within a few months at a substantial loss and the separation of Robison and his wife, Cherie Robison.
The plaintiffs' life care planning expert testified that Robison will require supervised medical care for the rest of his life. Robison had not worked since the fall, and the plaintiffs' vocational rehabilitation expert testified he will not be able to return to driving or any occupation with a comparable salary.
The plaintiff sought $168,540 for past lost earnings, $243,184 for future lost earnings, $378,718 for past medical expenses, $333,785 for future medical expenses, and an unspecified amount for past and future pain and suffering and physical impairment. Mrs. Robison sought an unspecified amount for past and future loss of household services and loss of consortium.
Defense counsel disputed the damages. Defense counsel argued that Robison could be rehabilitated to the point of no longer requiring supervised care and being able to return to work.
The jury found West Star negligent and awarded Charles Robison $5,133,299 and Mrs. Robison $400,000.
$378,718 Personal Injury: Past Medical Cost
$3,337,857 Personal Injury: Future Medical Cost
$5,000 Personal Injury: Past Physical Impairment
$168,540 Personal Injury: Past Lost Earnings Capability
$243,184 Personal Injury: FutureLostEarningsCapability
$300,000 Personal Injury: Past Pain And Suffering
$700,000 Personal Injury: Future Pain And Suffering
$250,000 Wrongful Death: Past Lost Of Consortium
$150,000 Wrongful Death: Future Lost Of Consortium
This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff's and defense counsel.