A Georgia jury awarded a customer and his wife $1.5 million last month in a lawsuit arising out of a forklift accident at a Home Depot store. The complaint filed by 58-year-old Larry Reece alleged that a pallet of plywood fell on him from a forklift at the Marietta, Georgia, store in 2005, knocking him down and causing neck and spine injuries. It was proven that the pallet fell 24 feet from the fork lift. The wood hit a barricade that knocked Mr. Reece down, causing him to be trapped under the plywood.
In a most interesting and highly-unusual development, Home Depot made a settlement offer for punitive damages and Mr. Reece accepted the offer. The case then went to a jury only on the issue of personal injury damages. Mr. Reece was unable to resume his work in residential construction after the accident. A Home Depot spokesman said the chain has tried to do the right thing by accepting responsibility and by making fair offers to compensate Mr. Reece for his injuries.
As part of the verdict, Mrs. Reece was awarded $30,000 for loss of marital relations. Medical expenses for Mr. Reece’s neck injuries were about $120,000, which included surgery to repair herniated discs. Mr. Reece had a permanent injury and permanent hardware implanted in his neck. All he had ever done was construction work.
As you may know, this was not the first rodeo for Home Depot. Over the years their stores – with their “sky shelving” packed with stock – have been the subject of other lawsuits arising out of injuries occurring in the stores. Jeff Shiver, a very good lawyer from Atlanta, represented Mr. Reece in his case, and did an outstanding job.
Source: Associated Press
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.