On October 4, 2007, plaintiff, Gale Cook, now age 58, was seriously injured while delivering a precast concrete septic tank for his employer, Sebens Concrete Products.
On the day of the incident, Charles Nelson, was operating an excavating machine with a bucket that was attached with a coupling device to secure the bucket. While the bucket was over the head of plaintiff, Gale Cook, it suddenly disengaged from the boom of the excavator violently striking the ground near Mr. Cook and then hitting plaintiff, Gale Cook. Plaintiff contends Nelson failed to properly connect the bucket to the hydraulic quick coupler. The proper methods for connecting and disconnecting the bucket and for testing the security of the bucket-to-coupler were shown in the operator’s manual, in a training video and on decals adhered to the side window of the operator’s cab.
The plaintiff suffered pelvis and hip fractures requiring right hip replacement, fracture of right femur, left tibial fracture, and left pelvic fracture requiring internal fixation. He also suffered a fracture of L1 and spinal fractures of T1, T2, and T5 as well as a spinal hematoma at the T5 level requiring surgery.
The total amount of the settlement was $2,645,000.00 plus a partial waiver of the worker’s compensation lien held by Sebens Concrete Products.
Robert J. Napleton represented the plaintiff.
The case is Cook v. Nelson Excavating, Inc., et al. 09 L 80 (PeoriaCounty).