$198,000 Jury Verdict in Forklift Fall from Loading Dock

On July 11, 2008, Tenesha Martin, an employee of a railroad, was operating a forklift while unloading the truck’s trailer at Canadian Pacific Railway’s docking area in Chicago. The forklift fell off the loading dock when the unmanned truck, owned by the defendant Central Transport Inc., rolled away from the dock causing her to sustain disabling lumbar disc injuries.

The defendant, Soo Line Railroad, argued that the trucking company, Central Transport, was at fault, while the trucking company blamed the railroad. Both defendants argued that Martin was contributorily negligent for choosing not to exercise due care and caution.

The presiding trial judge allowed evidence of Martin’s marijuana use in 2010 based on her history, which was given to a psychiatrist in 2011.

By the time of the jury trial, Social Security and the railroad had adjudicated her totally and permanently disabled due to her injuries from the accident. The jury deliberated for two hours before returning its verdict of $198,800 after reducing the verdict by 30% because of the assignment of contributory fault to Tenesha Martin. The plaintiff has filed a post-trial motion.

The attorney representing Tenesha Martin was George T. Brugess of Hoey & Farina. The attorney for Tenesha Martin asked the jury to return a verdict of $2,600,000.

Tenesha Martin v. Soo Line Railroad Co., Central Transport, Inc., No. 09 L 11812 (Cook County, Ill.).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling work injury cases, forklift accident cases for workers, individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 38 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Wheaton, Palos Heights, Hickory Hills, Bur Ridge, Countryside, LaGrange, LaGrange Park, Lansing, Lyons, Markham, Niles, Elk Grove Village, Dixmoor, Des Plaines, Crete, Crestwood, Cicero, Calumet Park and Bridgeview, Ill.

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