This accident took place on November 24, 1992 at the Company #2 garbage sorting facility in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
The plaintiff, a 41-year-old laborer from Ecuador who spoke no English, claimed that a co-worker negligently drove a hi-lo into a conveyor belt pit that was recessed 12 inches into the garbage sorting floor. He further claimed that as a result of this negligent driving, the hi-lo turned over and its fork amputated part of his leg.
The plaintiff claimed that the defendant designed the pit without adequate barriers for vehicles it should have reasonably foreseen being used there. The defendant contended that forklifts were not supposed to be used on the floor and only payloaders with much larger wheels were to be used there.
The defendant Company #1 contended that a payloader would not turn over if it entered the pit. Company #1 also contended that the plaintiff’s employer, third-party defendant Company #2, was responsible for the accident because of the negligence of its drivers.
The attorney, Lawrence B. Goldhirch, received a verdict of $2.96 million for our client.