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Driver injured in rollover accident settles workers’ comp case

A workers’ compensation case involving a one-vehicle trucking crash has been settled for more than $195,000, said the attorney representing the plaintiff.

“He was a truck driver driving on the job. He had a rollover accident,” said Sam Eveland of St. Louis firm Brown & Crouppen. “He had head trauma, so he didn’t have a lot of memory about the accident itself.”

Eveland said the accident left plaintiff Melvin Adams with serious cranial injuries, which induced an array of symptoms including vertigo, disorientation and loss of sense of direction.

He said he did not know if his client was diagnosed as clinically depressed, but he did suffer from depression after the crash.

“He had all sorts of cognitive problems going forward and wasn’t able to continue working after that point,” Eveland said. “He had a significant injury to his shoulder and a couple of other injuries but the most significant thing was that he had this trauma to his head and just sort of deteriorated rather rapidly.”

Because of the circumstances, the cause of the accident remains unknown.

“There was nobody with him. There were no witnesses,” he said. “Due to the head trauma, he didn’t remember what happened, so it’s not crystal clear what occurred.”

According to a written account from Eveland’s firm, two passersby had to pull Adams from the cab of his truck. Scans at a Sullivan hospital indicated bleeding in the brain, which necessitated a transfer to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

Later, the plaintiff would also require shoulder surgery.

Negotiations with Woody Bogler Trucking Co. took a fair amount of time, said Eveland, but they reached a reasonable outcome in the end.

“They were prolonged,” he said. “I think it was very clear early on that he was not returning to work. I think everyone understood that it was a total permanent disability situation but it took awhile for us to get it done.”

Eveland said such cases can be difficult because of the large sums of money involved.

“Any time you are talking about total permanent disability, they usually have to be, if not heavily litigated, than you [at least] have a lot of depositions and go through a lot of discovery to satisfy the insurance company who is doing their due diligence,” he said. “They are always tougher because it is a bigger dollar amount than a normal work comp case.”

Mark J. Cero of the Law Offices of Rouse & Cary, which represented the defendant, did not reply to a request for comment.

$195,782 Settlement

Workers’ Compensation

Venue: Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation, Jefferson City

Case Number/Date: 08-095140/Dec. 4, 2013

Insurer: Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.

Caption: Melvin Adams v. Woody Bogler Trucking Co.

Plaintiff’s Attorney: Sam W. Eveland, Brown & Crouppen, St. Louis

Defendant’s Attorney: Mark J. Cero, Rouse & Cary, St. Louis