The Superior Court of Pennsylvania has upheld a $2.3 million judgment awarded to a concrete laborer against Trans-Fleet Concrete, Inc. for injuries sustained when he was knocked off a nine-foot wall by a hose of a negligently operated concrete pump truck at the work site. Andrew DuPont, Esq. of the Locks Law Firm represented the injured worker in a November 2013 jury trial.
Trans-Fleet Concrete, Inc. delivered concrete to the work site and hired the affiliated company, 5 Star, as its agent for the pump truck services. Trans-Fleet was found liable for its own negligence as well as liable for the negligence of its agent 5 Star.
The operator of the pump truck negligently cleared a clog in the pump truck hose by accelerating the pump’s engine to force the clog through, rather than stopping the pump and manually clearing the clog. When the clog was forced through the hose,the pressure that built up in the hose released – causing the hose to whip and strike Mr. DeFranca in the head, knocking him from the nine-foot wall on which he was standing. Mr. DeFranca and his wife, Maria DeFranca, are Brazilian immigrants. Mr. DeFranca suffered a compression fracture of the spine at T11 and a traumatic brain injury in the incident.
The Superior Court found that the complaint adequately placed Trans-Fleet on notice of its liability for negligence of its entity and that there was sufficient evidence at trial to establish the agency relationship between Trans-Fleet and 5 Star. Also, the Superior Court found that the trial court properly excluded evidence of GPS tracking data.
The Superior Court opinion concluded that “all of Trans-Fleet’s issues on appeal are waived or devoid of merit.”