In late 2015, Attorneys Jay O’Connor, Buffy Lord, and Chris Dodig teamed up to achieve a $1 million settlement of a wrongful death case on behalf of a family from Middlebury, Vermont. The case arose from a motor vehicle accident involving a large cement truck that occurred in Hancock, Vermont while the client was at work. As such, the case involved both a workers’ compensation component and a traditional wrongful death claim based on negligence. The wrongful death claim alleged that the driver was negligent in his operation of the cement truck. It was also alleged that the employer was negligent in failing to maintain the large truck with adequate brakes or tires. While workers’ compensation is generally the exclusive remedy for an injured employee, Donovan & O’Connor, LLP argued that exceptions to that rule applied in this case because the driver breached an independent duty he owed to the employee and that the employer was not shielded from liability because its actions in failing to maintain its vehicles were egregious and led to a substantial certainty of harm to its employee. The case was filed in the Rutland Superior Court and settled after mediation.
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