On July 14, 2017, a San Joaquin County Superior Court jury returned a defense verdict in favor of Stockton, California-based Priority Freight Handling, Inc. in a personal injury action brought by plaintiff William Evans.
Evans alleged a single cause of action for general negligence against Priority Freight Handling, Inc. stemming from an accident that occurred on May 22, 2012, at a warehouse owned and operated by co-defendant Coastal Pacific Food Distributors, Inc. in Stockton. Evans alleged he was injured using an electric pallet jack to unload a shipment of paper goods he had delivered to the warehouse, and that a Priority Freight Handling employee instructed him on how to use the jack and gave him permission to use the jack even though he was not trained.
Priority Freight Handling denied liability for Evans’ accident, asserting it never gave Evans permission to use the electric pallet jack, and that Evans was specifically informed he could only use the electric pallet jack if he was certified.
Evans alleged he suffered L5-S1 disc protrusion, resulting in back pain and sciatica, which caused him to stop working as a long haul truck driver and required future surgery.
Trial lasted 10 days. Plaintiff asked the jury to award $635,000. The jury deliberated for approximately two hours and returned a defense verdict for Priority Freight Handling, Inc.
Priority Freight Handling, Inc., was represented at trial by DRI member and Livingston Law Firm senior counsel John C. Hentschel.