On December 19th, 2017, an Essex County jury awarded Mr. Pierce a total of $1,096,803. His wife, Steva Pierce, was also awarded $100,000 for her loss of consortium. With interest, the verdict totals $1.7 million.
According to court documents, on May 16, 2013, Mr. Pierce, a FedEx delivery driver for 33 years, pulled his truck up to the loading dock at Hansen Engineering & Machinery and Hansen Aerospace Laboratories (the Defendants) in Danvers Massachusetts. While unloading the cargo, Hansens’ dock plate malfunctioned and sprang up, striking Mr. Pierce in the leg, causing him to twist and fall backwards onto the dock plate, injuring his right hip.
Mr. Pierce already had severe osteoarthritis in his hip so the fall exacerbated his existing condition. He continued to work following the incident but eventually needed hip replacement surgery which removed him from the workforce.
From the beginning of this case, the Defendants denied that there were ever any prior problems with the dock plate. During an inspection of the subject dock plate, multiple replacement parts were found which triggered a further investigation into who made the repairs. Under order of subpoena, the contractor that made the repairs produced numerous invoices showing that the dock plate had been serviced and revealed a systemic issue with the dock plate popping up, consistent with Mr. Pierce’s description of the accident.
The Plaintiffs were represented by Brian C. Dever and John P. Wilton of Keches Law Group in Taunton, MA.
“The jurors recognized that replacing the faulty dock plate could have prevented this injury. We are so pleased that we could help Edward and his family get the verdict they deserved.” said Dever.