In 2002, Sean McMahon played the role of “Good Samaritan” at the Stony Ridge truck stop in Wood County. As he was exiting his truck, he noticed an argument taking place between two truck drivers that was quickly escalating. The two men arguing were Elmer DeForge and Raymond Blake, and DeForge was now hanging on Blake’s exterior as Blake put his truck into gear and started to drive. DeForge fell to the ground and that’s when Sean rushed to the scene.
DeForge was on the ground in the path of Blake’s oncoming truck. Sean rushed to DeForge and pushed him to safety, but Sean wasn’t as lucky. He did not get out of the path of the truck quickly enough and his leg was run over.
After the accident, Sean underwent several operations and skin grafts for his injuries but ultimately had to have his leg amputated. At this time, Sean chose to contact the attorneys at Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC to help him receive the compensation that he deserved.
Sean’s Legal Battle
Sean’s case was a long and difficult battle that was full of ups and downs. The suit was filed in Wood County Common Pleas Court against the driver of the truck, Raymond Blake, and Continental Express, the company in which Blake was an employee. From the beginning, Continental denied their responsibility for the accident and the actions of Blake. Attorney Bruno was able to obtain a judgment of $2,790,162 in compensatory damages and $500,000 in punitive damages against Blake as an individual.
Continental Express convinced the trial judge to dismiss the case on the basis that the company did not condone the actions of Raymond Blake. The company further argued that Blake was acting on his own accord and was not conducting company business at the time of the accident.
Attorney Bruno appealed the judge’s decision and after significant arguments in the court of appeals, the trial judge’s dismissal was reversed. Attorney Bruno was able to convince the court of appeals that there was no evidence to prove the judge’s ruling that Blake intended to hurt Sean and DeForge.
Sean’s case was then reinstated at the trial level allowing for another chance to obtain compensation for losing his leg to save another person from suffering serious injury or death. The four day trial was full or back and forth arguments between Attorney Bruno and Continental Express.
Continental stated that since Blake was signed out of his logbook and was under the influence of alcohol, he was not considered to be on duty. They argued that according to their company handbook, with Blake off duty he was no longer under the scope of employment and Continental was therefore not liable for Sean’s injuries.
Attorney Bruno argued that Blake was behind the wheel of a Continental Express truck so he was back under the scope of Continental’s employment. He asked the jury to consider similar situations:
If a truck driver is speeding and thus violating company policy, is he no longer under the scope of employment? If an Amtrak operator sends text messages while working (against company policy) and causes a wreck, is he considered not under the scope of employment?
After a two hour deliberation, the jury reached a verdict finding that Continental Express was liable for Sean’s injuries. He was awarded with $1.25 million to be paid by the trucking company.
Sean waited six years after the accident to receive the compensation that he deserved. “It was such a long time, so sometimes I’d lose faith that we’d win,” Sean said. But with the Charles E. Boyk Law Offices and Attorney Mike Bruno, Sean was able to receive the verdict that he deserved.
“There have been so many ups and downs, but everything worked out. [Attorney Bruno] did a great job.”
This is just one of the many inspiring stories inside the pages of Injured Times, the Charles E. Boyk Law Offices magazine. To read more stories about our past clients, or to find helpful information on personal injury cases, order your free copy of Injured Times.