GOT’s founding principal, Don O’Keefe, with the assistance of associate attorney, Neil Jackson, recently tried a significant trucking case involving two truck drivers in the United States District Court located in East St. Louis, Illinois. The case was tried with a full COVID-19 protocol in place starting on August 10, 2021 before Judge Nancy Rosenstengel. Don’s clients included a defendant motor carrier and its operator who were accused of rear-ending another truck at a truck stop located in Farina, Illinois. The accident resulted in the plaintiff operator claiming significant shoulder injuries which included a full-thickness tear of his rotator cuff, a bicep tendon tear, a Bankart lesion, and aggravation of underlying neck and back conditions including several protruding discs. The Plaintiff maintained that the shoulder injuries necessitated reconstructive surgery, extensive therapy and rehabilitation, all resulting in his inability to continue his employment as a truck driver, early retirement, loss of motion, strength and loss of a normal life.
The Plaintiff’s medical bills and wage loss were significant and resulted in the Plaintiff seeking an award in the high six figures. The GOT lawyers defended the case on both liability and damages. In particular, the Defendants contended that the Plaintiff blocked the entry into the truck stop for an extensive period of time and may have backed up, thereby initiating the contact between the trucks. On the issue of damages, Don’s client argued that the Plaintiff had a chronic pre-existing rotator cuff tear from his prior work activities and prior motor vehicle accidents which also involved the Plaintiff’s neck and back. After deliberating for only 30 minutes, the jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of Don’s clients and against the Plaintiff.