NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana has granted a motion for default judgment in a case brought by a man who claimed he was injured by a forklift that was operated by an employee of the company that was named as the defendant in the suit.
In June 2017, Shawn Crowley, a vacuum operator for Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc., claimed he was injured while working at AWG’s warehouse when he was struck by a forklift operated by a driver employed as a subcontractor by defendant LMS Intellibound LLC.
Crowley claimed that he suffered a severe left leg injury, including a large laceration from his heel up to the back of his knee. Court records show that he also alleges that he to “continues to suffer from various medical issues as a result of this incident.”
Roughly two months after the incident, Crowley filed suit, arguing that LMS Intellibound should be held liable for its driver.
Crowley then filed a motion for default judgment, claiming that LMS Intellibound never filed a responsive pleading within the legally allotted timeframe and failed to request an extension of any kind.
In rendering its verdict, the court found that Crowley had legally satisfied all the requirements needed to be granted a default judgment in his favor, including the standard of vicarious liability.
“First, there are no material facts in dispute because [the] defendant failed to file an answer or Rule 12 motion,” U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier wrote in the court's decision, adding that "the court is not aware of any facts that would lead it to set aside the default judgment if challenged by the defendant.”
Crowley’s award of $932,145.32 included $450,000 for general damages and $260,855 for future lost wages.
“Considering the extent and severity of [the] plaintiff’s injuries, his subsequent hospitalization, extensive treatment, the development of bilateral lymphedema, his residual foot and leg disfigurement, his sensory loss, deviated gate, impaired mobility and significant weight gain, the court concludes that $450,000.00 is an appropriate amount for [the] plaintiff’s pain, suffering and disability based on the foregoing testimony and evidence presented,” Barbier said.