$4.4 Million Settlement Against Post-Hurricane Wilma Contractors after Pedestrian Survives Being Run Over by a Bucket Utility Truck but Sustains Severe Leg Injuries

The trial team of and Jeffrey D. Kirby, Esq. from the South Florida personal injury law firm of Goldman & Daszkal recently obtained a $4,435,000 settlement for 27-year-old Daniel Lima who was struck by a bucket utility truck while he was walking on a sidewalk toward the Riva Yamaha showroom on Dixie Highway in Pompano Beach, Broward County, Florida. The truck was owned by Pro-Tech Building Systems, LLC, and was operated by Michael Honeycutt, an unlicensed driver working for Pro-Tech Building Systems doing Hurricane Wilma restoration and repairs for Bellsouth Telecommunications/AT&T, through one of its master contractors, Gregory Electric Company, Inc.
After the bucket truck crashed into another vehicle, it ran off the road, struck Mr. Lima, and ultimately slammed into the side of the Riva Yamaha building. Later it was discovered that the bucket utility truck was being operated with a bungee cord wrapped around the steering column and affixed to the brake pedal. Mr. Honeycutt testified that his foot became entangled in the bungee cord when a car pulled out in front of him and he tried to brake. Instead of applying the brakes, Mr. Honeycutt hit the accelerator, resulting in Mr. Lima’s catastrophic leg injuries. Mr. Lima suffered extensive lower leg injuries, and he required multiple surgeries using external fixators followed by rodding in order to save his legs.
The defendants alleged that Mr. Honeycutt was an independent contractor and denied liability. Mr. Lima’s case was settled after a Florida judge ruled that the Master Contract entered into between Bellsouth Telecommunications/AT&T and Gregory Electric Company, Inc., which required all persons doing Bellsouth work to be agents and/or employees of Gregory Electric Company, applied to the restoration work conducted in Florida. The ruling was based upon a factual finding that the Master Contract’s descriptive numbers were referenced in all of the Florida subcontracts and thousands of invoices sent to Bellsouth during the several month long project undertaken by Gregory Electric Company and its subcontractors.
In addition to his claim for vicarious liability, Mr. Lima also contended that Gregory Electric Company was directly negligent for failing to comply with very specific safety requirements set forth in its own Safety Manual regarding the hiring and supervision of its subcontractors. Mr. Lima was able to prove that the Safety Director for Gregory Electric Company never even came to Florida during the project and did not implement or enforce any of the detailed Safety Manual requirements, many of which may have prevented the crash.
This settlement represents another multi-million dollar accident injury recovery by the trial lawyers of Goldman, Daszkal, Culter, Kirby & Galsterer. The firm is based in Deerfield Beach, Broward County, Florida and has secured millions of dollars in auto accident, slip and fall, wrongful death, nursing home abuse, premises liability, and defective product awards for its clients since the firm’s inception in 1990.

For more information regarding the firm and its attorneys visit their website at www.goldmandaszkal.com.