A federal court jury in San Francisco has awarded $11.4 million in damages to a garbage truck driver, whose spine was injured when the front wheel of his truck came off the 55,000-pound truck, dropping to the ground.
Forty-six year old Raymond Mariolle, a Waste Management Company driver for more than twenty years, suffered compression injuries from the October 2007 incident that left him in severe pain, despite undergoing three spine surgeries. The right front hub of the truck fractures and the wheel fell off while Mariolle was driving the truck. It was alleged in the lawsuit that Consolidated Metco, which made the hub, Volvo Truck, which built the cab and chassis, and Wittke Manufacturing, which designed the truck, all knew that the hub was defective and overloaded and that they failed to warn drivers or the public.
Mariolle returned to work ten months after. He later transferred to part-time and non-driving duties, but was physically unable to work after August 2010. The companies contended that Mariolle had pre-existing back injuries, which were the primary cause of his disabilities and ongoing pain. After a three-week trial, the jury found that the wheel hub, the truck and the cab and chassis all were defective and had caused Mariolle’s injuries.
The victim’s damages included $2.4 million for lost wages and medical costs and $7.5 million for pain and suffering. The jury also awarded his wife, Regina Mariolle, $1.5 million for loss of marital and family relations.
For more info on any injuries caused by a defective product – including defective motor vehicles – or for a no-obligation case review, please feel free to contact Gacovino, Lake and Associates at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).