Blue Bell Partners Russell Massey and Adam Lazarow Get a Complete Defense Verdict for a Large Trucking Client

Published on April 30, 2024

Blue Bell, PA (April 26, 2024) – Rawle & Henderson’s London Practice Group is pleased to announce that at the conclusion of a 3-week trial in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, Partners Russ Massey and Adam Lazarow  obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a motor carrier and its owner-driver.

The case involved a 32-year-old man who was assisting in unloading a tractor-trailer when he was partially crushed by 1,300 lbs. of freight that had shifted.  The Plaintiff alleged that the cargo, which included pallets of exercise weights, was improperly loaded.  The Plaintiff alleged that Rawle’s client failed to properly inspect the cargo after it was loaded, during the transport of the cargo, and prior to it being unloaded, claiming that those inspections would have disclosed the allegedly unsafe condition created by the improper loading.  Plaintiff also brought suit against the company who allegedly improperly loaded the cargo, contrary to the instructions of the shipper.

At the trial, the Plaintiff sought the recovery of approximately $8M in economic damages, plus pain & suffering.  In addition to the compensatory damages, Plaintiff was also seeking punitive damages against the co-defendant company who allegedly improperly loaded the freight.  Prior to the case being submitted to the jury, Plaintiff had demanded $8M from Rawle’s client, and $151M from the company who loaded the freight.

At the conclusion of deliberations, the jury delivered a unanimous verdict, awarding the Plaintiff approximately $5M in compensatory damages, plus $1M in non-economic damages, which was reduced by 20% for the Plaintiff’s comparative fault.  The remaining 80% of the net award was against the co-defendant.  No punitive damages were awarded.  Importantly, as noted, Rawle’s client obtained a complete defense verdict.

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Maria Forrest
Marketing & Public Relations
Rawle & Henderson LLP

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