Case details

Plaintiff caused accident by obstructing visibility: defense





Result type

Not present

back, cervical, fusion, herniated disc, lumbar, neck
On Nov. 10, 2014, plaintiff Robert McEvilly, 40, the owner and operator of a postal packing and shipping company, had filled a customer’s order, which involved a large amount of merchandise that was to be shipped from his company’s Glendale business to Australia, and called DHX-Dependable Hawaiian Express Inc. to dispatch a truck driver to load the merchandise. However, as McEvilly was standing on a lift next to the pallet of merchandise, the lift was struck by Halario Gomez, who was backing up the truck. McEvilly claimed that he was knocked four feet to the ground and sustained to his neck and back. McEvilly sued Gomez and the company that hired Gomez, DHX-Dependable Hawaiian Express Inc. McEvilly alleged that Gomez was negligent in the operation of the truck and that DHX was vicariously liable for Gomez’s actions. Prior to trial, DHX was dropped from the case after it was determined that Gomez was acting as an independent contractor at the time of the incident. McEvilly claimed that Garcia failed to keep a proper lookout and was negligent for backing into the lift he was standing on. Gomez claimed McEvilly was at fault because he stacked the merchandise too high on the pallet. Thus, he claimed that since the merchandise was stacked about 8 feet high, he was unable to have a clear view of McEvilly when he backed up the truck., McEvilly was taken by ambulance to a local emergency room with complaints of pain in his neck and back. He subsequently underwent X-rays and was discharged. McEvilly was ultimately diagnosed with herniated cervical disc at the C3-4, C4-5, C5-6 levels and herniated lumbar discs at the L4-5 and L5-S1 levels. As a result, he underwent a cervical and lumbar fusion with the insertion of plates and screws at both the cervical and lumbar levels. McEvilly claimed that he continues to suffer residual pain and lifting limitations of 10 pounds. Thus, McEvilly sought recovery of $750,000 in total damages, including past and future medical costs, and past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel argued that McEvilly made a good recovery following his surgeries and that McEvilly was ultimately able to return to his job.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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