A Mississippi jury ruled
Jan. 16 that two companies owed a truckdriver about $250,000 for
an on-the-job accident. The jury also ruled the trucker was partly
at fault in the accident.
The Pike County Circuit
Court jury ordered Carbo Ceramics Inc. of Eufaula, AL, to pay
$202,500, and Nance & Collums Inc. of Fernwood, MS, to pay
Trucker Earl "Mike"
Berry sued the companies over a back injury he sustained after
slipping on ceramic pellets on top of a Nance & Collums tanker
at the Carbo plant in April 1999. Berry testified that he was
permanently disabled after slipping on the pellets spilled on
top of his tanker truck.
The jury set the total
damages at $450,000, but ruled Berry was 45 percent responsible
for the accident. It said Carbo was also 45 percent responsible,
while NCI bore 10 percent of the fault.
Carbo has since changed
its procedures for safety reasons, requiring drivers to wear a
harness if climbing on top of the truck. Plant employees now reportedly
routinely close truck hatches.