A truck driver who seriously injured his back when he slipped and fell on a snow-and-ice-covered warehouse parking lot in South Philadelphia has agreed to a $1.05 million settlement with the owner of the warehouse.
Clyde Casterline, a 41-year-old Penske tractor-trailer driver who hauled hot dogs along the East Coast, was permanently disabled with back injuries after his fall in a parking lot outside a warehouse owned, managed, and maintained by the defendants, Triple Seven Ice., Inc.
Casterline was represented by Robert N. Braker of Saltz Mongeluzzi & Bendesky.
Casterline was waiting for warehouse employees to lighten an excessive load of hot dogs when he fell on uneven ice and snow between two parked cars. As a result of the fall, Casterline underwent two major spinal surgeries, as well as numerous epidural and nerve block injections and several discographies
Attorneys for the defendants, Triple Seven Ice, argued that the warehouse was not liable for Casterline’s injuries because they contended the parking lot, though covered with ice and snow, was covered evenly. The defense asserted under Pennsylvania law that no liability existed. Overcoming the defense arguments, Braker was successful in reaching a settlement after proving that “hills and ridges” existed in the ice and snow.
Through numerous depositions of Casterline, other Penske drivers, other truck drivers, and numerous warehouse employees, Braker established that the operators of the warehouse allowed ice and snow to accumulate in the parking lot irregularly, and in significant amounts, and had not removed it. Those deposed indicated the ice and snow had melted and refroze overnight and had developed highly irregular surfaces. Casterline had testified that the ice and snow was “crunchy” and “uneven” and contained two-inch deep footprints” which had turned into “patches of ice.”
“Even though the defendants admitted they had a duty to remove snow and ice accumulations from the parking area, we demonstrated that they failed to do that and to maintain the parking lot in a safe fashion,” said Braker. “That failure caused Mr. Casterline’s disabling injuries.”