Johnson v. T. Glennon Inc.: A Jersey City man accepted $5 million to settle his suit alleging that machine failure led to an accident that crushed his legs.
On Oct. 31, 2006, Charles Johnson, then 36, was making repairs to a rail-road track in Mansfield for his employer, T. Glennon of Hillsborough, when the brakes failed on a tamping machine, which removes and replaces ties. The six-ton machine ran over his legs, says his lawyer, Robert Gold of Gold, Albanese & Barletti L.L.C. in Morristown.
Johnson suffered leg fractures and extensive soft-tissue damage, and had 16 surgeries to debride wounds, set bones, and reconnect tendons and muscles. He also developed deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary emboli, and still has a bone infection, which has required more than a dozen debridement since he left the hospital. He is 100 percent disabled and unable to work, says Gold.
Johnson alleged in the Middlesex County Superior Court that T. Glennon failed to properly maintain the machine.
Gold says testimony by the person hired to repair the machine – that he informed the company that the brakes were shot but was told replacements Cost too much – would have overcome the workers’ compensation bar.
T. Glennon settled in June and paid the $5 million in September, says Gold. Since then, he has been dealing with workers’ comp liens, and on Feb. 6, sought approval of his fees because the settlement exceeds $2 million.
T. Glennon’s lawyers, Joseph Fuoco of McElroy Deutsch Mulvaney & Carpenter in Morristown and Victor Rotolo of Lebanon, did not return calls.
Products liability claims against machine maker Plasser American Corp. based on lack of a dual brake system and a mechanism to warn when it was moving – will be mediated on March 6 by former Judge Mark Epstein. now with Hoagland Longo Moran Dunst & Doukas in New Brunswick.
Plasser’s attorney, Thomas Mulcahy of Purcell Mulcahy O’Neill & Hawkins in Bedminster, confirms the settlement.