Manufacturer, Modifiers, Owners Named in Truck Accident Suit

A worker for Waste Management, the company that handles garbage collection and disposal for the San Francisco area, was awarded a $11.4 million settlement by a federal jury for injuries he sustained while on the job.

The male employee received $2.4 in damages for his future medical expenses and loss of future wages, and $7.5 million for pain and suffering. The accident occurred in 2007 while the employee was driving one of the Waste Management's Volvo collection trucks in the Livermore suburb. Apparently, the truck accident occurred when the passenger-side front wheel hub on the truck fractured and caused the wheel to fall off the truck. The driver suffered a severe spinal injury as a result of the accident. He was completely debilitated for 10 months after the accident. When the suit was filed in 2010, he was still physically unable to work in any capacity.

Other companies named in the suit and sharing the cost of damages include the manufacturer of the wheel hubs, the company that modified the truck to conduct sanitation duties; and Volvo and Waste Management for not conducting proper quality assurance or inspections of the vehicle.

The main crux of the suit alleged that the rating capacity for the wheel hubs was superfluously inflated which caused Waste Management to load the trucks beyond a safe weight levels. In addition, the jury agreed that neither Volvo nor the manufacturer took any corrective action to inform the public or purchasers of the affected trucks that the wheel hubs could not withstand their reported weight loads.

When involved in a personal injury lawsuit, there are many angles and histories to uncover in the pursuit of ultimate liability for any injuries sustained by people through no fault of their own.

Source: trucktrend.com, "Volvo Trucks Part of $11.4 Million Payout to Injured Garbage Truck Driver," Edward A. Sanchez, June 12, 2012

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