$524,000 Recovery for Product Liability & Negligence

Severe Foot Crush Injuries

This action was brought by a plaintiff in her mid-20s, who, along with a number of friends, had taken bags of soil and debris from her yard to the large dumpster situated on the premises of her employer, the defendant municipality. The plaintiff contended that after most of the soil and debris had been poured into the dumpster, it toppled forward onto her foot.

The plaintiff maintained that the dumpster was designed in such a manner that the front was slanted, making it likely to tip over with much less weight inside than the dumpster was capable of holding. The plaintiff's engineer maintained that this design reduced the stability of the dumpster and significantly increased the chances of such an incident occurring. The dumpster manufacturer contended that the dumpster was properly designed and met ANSI standards.

The plaintiff had also named the municipality, contending that it negligently placed the dumpster on an incline. The municipality denied that it placed the dumpster in an improper location and maintained that the incline was slight. The municipality further contended that the plaintiff was not supposed to use the dumpster and that her negligence was the cause of the incident.

The plaintiff maintained that she sustained severe crush injuries to the foot, including comminuted fractures and displacement of four metatarsals and lis franc joint injury. The plaintiff required five initial surgeries, including skin grafts. The plaintiff was left with severe scarring and subsequently underwent eight laser procedures to lessen the scarring. The plaintiff maintained that she has residual permanent scarring and will suffer permanent pain. The plaintiff is a high school gym teacher who missed approximately one year from work.

The case settled at mediation prior to trial for $524,000, including $424,000 from the dumpster manufacturer and $100,000 from the municipality.

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