Fri 18th Feb | 2022
$2M Settlement Obtained for Lawn Maintenance Employee for Amputation
Firm client was using a riding lawn mower to mow the grass on the shoulder of a Palm Beach County roadway. The riding mower, provided by his employer, became unstable and ejected the client causing his right leg to be amputated above the knee by the mower’s spinning blades.
Initially, the employer and its related companies denied all liability and claimed the only remedy for the client was through Workers’ Compensation.
Partner Ben J. Whitman conducted an investigation which revealed that the lawnmower was owned and maintained by a different entity than the client’s employer.
The lawnmower was equipped with a kill switch, a safety device built into the operator’s seat. The purpose of the kill switch is simple yet critical – to 1) stop the mower from operating and 2) stop the blades from turning when the operator’s weight is removed from the seat.
The investigation further revealed that the owner of the mower had purposefully disabled the kill switch so his workers would complete their tasks faster. By disabling the kill switch, the owner prevented the blades from stopping when the client was ejected resulting in his devastating injuries.
A few months after retaining Clark Fountain, Ben J. Whitman successfully obtained the full policy limits of $2,000,000 from the lawnmower owner and his insurance company for their blatant negligence.