Significant jury award of $730,000 in a personal injury suit for Eaton Peabody clients

Tim Woodcock, a litigation attorney and shareholder with Eaton Peabody won a significant jury award of $730,000 in a personal injury suit for Eaton Peabody clients, Danny Bunker and his wife, Cathy.

Danny Bunker was a tank truck driver for Dysart’s transportation. On September 18, 2009, Danny was assigned to make a delivery to A.B. Ramsdell Company, Inc., a petroleum fuel depot in Eastport. In order to make the delivery, Danny had to climb up to and down from a platform that was five feet above the ground. The sole means of access that Ramsdell provided was an aged aluminum stepladder with a missing step. The stepladder had just been leaned against the platform and was essentially serving the purpose that should have been served by a set of stairs. Although the ladder was unstable, Danny had to use it or he could not have made the delivery.

Danny made it up the ladder but when he tried to descend, the ladder shifted beneath him and he was pitched forward, becoming entangled in the ladder. He struck the ground with great force and suffered immediate back and left knee pain. Danny was 51 years old when he suffered this fall.

Long before this incident, Danny had received artificial knee implants at a young age. His knees required periodic surgery and his left knee was doing very well at the time. The fall damaged his left knee unit and Danny developed severe and disabling chronic back pain.

Eventually, Danny had to undergo knee surgery to repair the damaged left knee unit. For well over a year, his back pain was so intense he could do very little. Eventually, his doctors began periodic lower back injections. Although these injections have made Danny more mobile, he remains quite limited. His back doctor testified that Danny would probably have to continue these treatments for another 10 to 15 years.

Despite the significant limitations Danny faced from his knee surgeries, he had always bounced back. He had always returned to work. But after the injury at the Ramsdell facility, he could not. For this first time in his life, Danny and Cathy had to face the reality that he would almost certainly never again find a job where he could work.

After listening to all the evidence about the Ramsdell site, Danny’s fall from the old stepladder, the jury returned a significant verdict for Danny and Cathy Bunker, awarding them $730,000 in compensatory damages. This award will be further enlarged by five years of pre-judgment interest.

“I am gratified that the jury listened so carefully to the evidence and returned a verdict that was consistent with the both magnitude of Danny’s injuries and the future that Danny and Cathy lost as a result of Ramsdell’s negligence. Tim Woodcock said, “I believe that with this award, Danny and Cathy will be able to face the coming years with confidence. It is a privilege to represent such good people who were had been so badly damaged and who were in such need.”  He added, “Danny and Cathy join me in the hope that this significant award sends a clear message to business owners of all types to take reasonable measures to eliminate hazards to those who came into their stores and onto their facilities.”