$15.28 Million Jury Verdict in the Death of a Worker Injured in a Failure to Warn of Dangerous Condition

Diego Rodrigues Matos, 26, needed a truck replacement part to use for his landscaping business. He went to a truck lot owned by Rechtien International Trucks and showed an employee there a picture of the part that he needed. The employee directed him to drive around the lot in search of a truck similar to his so that he could identify the exact part that would need to be ordered.

Matos later found a truck, opened its unlocked door, and raised the truck’s bed. While Matos was lying under the vehicle’s chassis, the truck bed descended, pinning him down and crushing his neck. Matos, a father of one minor child, died from his injuries.

Matos’s fiancé, on behalf of his estate and the couple’s child, sued Rechtien International alleging liability for, among other things, choosing not to warn that the truck bed posed a dangerous condition, failed to lock the doors of the truck located on its property, and failed to accompany Matos around the property in search of the truck replacement part. The lawsuit did not claim lost income.

The jury returned a verdict of $15.28 million finding Matos 30% responsible for his own injuries and subsequent death. The parties later settled for an undisclosed amount after the verdict was entered.

The attorneys successfully representing Matos’s family were Marc Whites and Harry Shevin.

Stoelzle v. Rechtien International Trucks, No. CACE-14-022085 (Fla. Cir. Ct. Broward County).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling truck accident cases, wrongful death cases, pharmaceutical defect lawsuits, product liability cases and automobile accident lawsuits for individuals, families and loved ones who have been injured, harmed or killed by the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Northfield, Northbrook, Deerfield, Buffalo Grove, Riverwoods, Wheeling, Long Grove, Mattawa, Lake Forest, Hawthorne Woods, Kildeer, Deer Park, Lake Zurich, Inverness, Wauconda, Libertyville, Wildwood, Park City, North Chicago, Lake Bluff, Waukegan, Lake Villa, Round Lake Beach, Lindenhurst, Winthrop Harbor, Glencoe, Glenview, Skokie, Lincolnwood, Chicago (Edgewater, Uptown, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Near North Side, Little Village, Greek Town, West Town, Austin, Logan Square, Near West Side, Brighton Park, Back of the Yards, Gage Park, Chicago Lawn, Southside, Chatham, Calumet Heights, Beverly), Evergreen Park, Hometown, Burbank and Bedford Park, Ill.

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