Shattering Light Fixtures Lead to Lawsuit

The plaintiff, Mr. Herman Suggs was fueling his automobile at the outer most island pump at a gas station in Conway, South Carolina. While the plaintiff was pumping gas, a truck with a flatbed hauling a tractor with a tall roll bar drove toward the inside of the same island pump. As the defendant went under the canopy, the roll bar hit the 8’ florescent light fixtures in the overhead canopy. This caused the lights to shatter and pop. At the sound of breaking glass, the plaintiff jumped and struck the door of his vehicle in an attempt to get out of the way. Flying dust and debris from the light got into the plaintiff’s eyes.

The plaintiff sought emergency room treatment for his eyes immediately after the incident but did not mention having any hip pain at the time. He eyes were flushed and he was discharged home. He sought chiropractic treatment for the pain in his hip that had developed the night of the incident. He was diagnosed with a herniated lumbar disc with radiating paint into his hip. Mr. Suggs said that Mr. Collier was the one that caused his injuries as a result of the gas station accident. Mr. Suggs asked for past and future medical bills, and also damages for pain and suffering.

The defendant did admit that he was driving the pickup truck and that the roll bar struck and shattered the lights. But he contends that the accident is not the result of the plaintiff’s back or hip pain.

The alleged injuries were eye irritation from flying glass and dust, requiring emergency room treatment to flush out the plaintiff’s eyes. Mr. Suggs didn’t have any permanent eye damage. Over the next 24 hours, the plaintiff claimed he developed lumbar back problems with radiating pain into his hip. He got chiropractic treatment several days later and continued the treatment for the following six months.

On December 11, 2009 the jury returned a verdict of $55,000 plus costs and interest.

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