A truck driver who suffered severe injuries when a two-ton pipe landed on him has settled a claim against the crane company responsible for loading the pipe for $1.5 million, his attorneys report.
Tom Comerford and John Chilson of Comerford Chilson & Moser in Winston-Salem and Mike Lewis of Lewis & Keller in Raleigh report that the injury happened while their client, Bruce Holler, was picking up a load of four steel pipes that he was planning to transport to a construction site in Wilmington.
Holler was standing near his trailer while a crane operator for Mountain Creek Contractors lifted one of the pipes and dropped it in the trailer. That caused another 4,000-pound pipe, which hadn’t been properly secured, to come loose and fall out of the trailer and land on Holler, who suffered spine, pelvis, and knee injuries, and a permanent injury to his urethra.
Holler was in the hospital for eight days after the incident and underwent numerous surgeries, Chilson said.
Ron Spivey of Winston-Salem mediated the settlement, which was agreed to on Feb. 28, 2020.
Holler also settled a worker’s compensation claim, but the terms of that settlement are confidential. He has made a “good recovery” and is now back to work as a truck driver, Chilson said.
Jennifer Addleton Welch of Cranfill Sumner in Raleigh represented Mountain Creek Contractors. She could not be reached for comment, but Chilson said that Mountain Creek contended that Holler had been contributorily negligent and should have known better than to stand close to the trailer while the crane operator was loading the pipes.
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SETTLEMENT REPORT — NEGLIGENCE
Amount: $1.5 million
Injuries alleged: Spine, pelvis, and knee injuries; permanent injury to urethra
Case name: Case settled pre-lawsuit
Mediator: Ron Spivey of Winston-Salem
Date of Settlement: Feb. 28, 2020
Attorneys for Plaintiff: Tom Comerford and John Chilson of Comerford Chilson & Moser in Winston-Salem and Mike Lewis of Lewis & Keller in Winston-Salem
Attorney for defendant: Jennifer Addleton Welch of Cranfill Sumner in Raleigh