$11 Million Settlement on the First Day of Trial in Truck Crash Resulting in Amputation Above the Knee

Bert Jessmon and his father worked for a private trash collection company. They were on a route with Jessmon’s father driving and Bert Jessmon riding on the back of the truck. The Jessmons stopped on a rural two-lane highway and Bert Jessmon left the truck and began walking to pick up a trash can. At the same time, a W.A. Kendall & Co. wood chipper truck stopped behind the trash truck.

Elizabeth Smiley, who was traveling in the same lane, came upon the truck and stopped behind them. When Smiley confirmed that the oncoming lane was clear, she began passing the vehicles on the left. As she was nearly passed the chipper truck, the driver pulled out, striking her car. The Smiley car then spun clockwise striking and pinning Bert Jessmon between the car’s driver side and the rear of the garbage truck.

Bert Jessmon sustained severe crush injuries to both of his legs and his right leg was nearly severed above the knee. His femoral artery was severed and he began bleeding profusely. A bystander with Army medical experience applied a tourniquet while emergency responders were called.

Bert Jessmon was 31 years old at the time and was transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital. He had surgery on both legs. His right leg could not be saved and was amputated above the knee. He wears a prosthesis and suffers phantom pain in his right leg.

After months of physical therapy, Jessmon is now able to walk with the prosthetic on the right leg. His left leg sustained significant orthopedic injuries as well resulting in multiple fixation surgeries. Jessmon’s past medical expenses were nearly $600,000. He has been unable to return to his usual work.

Jessmon sued W.A. Kendall & Co. and its driver alleging that the driver was negligent in choosing not to keep a proper lookout and striking Smiley’s car. The lawsuit also named Smiley, but she was dismissed after W.A. Kendall and its driver admitted liability before the start of the trial.

The parties settled the case on the first day of trial for $11 million, which was paid by the defendants’ joint insurer.

The attorneys representing Bert Jessmon were Brandon L. Peak, Tedra L. Cannella, Ramsey Prather, Rory A. Weeks and Gerald Davidson.

Jessmon v. W.A. Kendall & Co., No. 15-C-01250-S6 (Ga. St. Ct. Gwinnett County).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling truck accident cases, forklift accident lawsuits, construction site injury cases, car crash cases and catastrophic injury lawsuits for individuals, families and the loved ones who have been injured, harmed or killed by the negligence of another for more than 40 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Lyons, Lansing, Lemont, Lincolnwood, Lincolnshire, Hinsdale, Hillside, Harwood Heights, Harvey, Park Ridge, Stickney, South Chicago Heights, Chicago Heights, Cicero, Chicago Ridge, Chicago (Sauk Village, Edison Park, Princeton Park, Oz Park, Pilsen, Humboldt Park, Chinatown, Little Italy, East Garfield Park, Bucktown, Back of the Yards), Deerfield and Evergreen Park, Ill.

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