A jury has found an employer 60% responsible for injuries to an employee who was struck by a car. The driver of the car was found 10% responsible.
Robert Loja was working for Sleepy Hollow Landscaping. One day while unloading a trailer in Tarrytown, NY, he was struck by a car driven by a local resident. The driver said she didn’t see Loja because of sun glare.
Before striking Loja, the driver hit a metal “men working” sign that became pinned against the worker and acted as a knife.
His left leg was amputated above the knee and his right leg was mangled and still requires surgery more than three years after the incident.
A jury returned an $11.2 million verdict in a civil suit against his employer and the driver.
Loja was found to be 30% responsible himself because he could have parked the truck he was unloading elsewhere, even though he was following instructions to park the truck in the middle of the street. That reduces the award by $3.36 million.
That doesn’t mean Loja will see all of the remaining $7.84 million of the verdict. His lawyers have to negotiate with the driver whose insurance will only cover $50,000. After that negotiation is completed, Loja’s lawyer will negotiate with the landscaping company.
Since Loja was injured, his workers’ compensation hasn’t been enough to cover his medical bills, even though his wife works. Loja also has a five-year-old son, and the family faces foreclosure on their home.
The jury found Sleepy Hollow created a dangerous situation by directing Loja to park the truck in an inappropriate place and by not posting a large enough “men working” sign. Police issued two parking tickets for the truck.