A trucking company filed a counter complaint against a union operating engineer’s employer after the employee allegedly suffered a traumatic head injury while attempting to free a dump truck from the mud.
Brian Embrich filed the complaint on March 9 against Beelman Truck Co.
According to his complaint, Embrich alleges he was attempting to free a dump truck from the mud on April 27, 2015 when a cable allegedly failed. The dump truck is owned by Beelman.
Embrich claims the dump truck driver caused the equipment to swing sideways, hitting Embrich on the head.
As a result, Embrich claims he suffered injuries to various parts of his body, including traumatic brain injury that required surgery.
Embrich alleges Beelman’s employee caused the truck to be stuck in the mud and negligently accelerated it in reverse while being towed.
Beelman answered the complaint on July 20 through attorneys Ted Perryman, Korissa Zickrick and Anna Beck of Roberts Perryman PC in St. Louis, denying liability.
In its affirmative defenses, the defendant argues that Embrich’s complaint was filed beyond the statute of limitations. Beelman states that the plaintiff’s complaint became time-barred after April 27, 2017.
Beelman also claims Embrich’s alleged injuries were caused by his own fault of negligence.
The defendant alleges the plaintiff failed to keep a careful lookout, failed to take measures to prevent the incident, used an improper method to pull a fully loaded dump truck, failed to properly attach a tow cable or chain, failed to supervise the attachment of the cable or chain, failed to follow rules and procedures, failed to wear proper protective equipment and failed to take proper precautions.
The defendant also argues that Embrich knew or should have known that the proper method to free a dump truck stuck in the mud was to push it from behind without using any type of chain or cable.
Beelman also filed a third party complaint on July 20 against Baxmeyer Construction Inc.
Beelman argues that on April 27, 2015, Embrich was employed by Baxmeyer and allegedly sustained injuries in the course of his employment.
Beelman denies that it is in anyway liable to Embrich; however, in the event that it is found liable, Beelman claims it is entitled to judgment against Baxmeyer “under a theory of contribution for all or such portion of said liability shall correspond to the degree of fault” attributable to Baxmeyer.
Beelman alleges Baxmeyer negligently failed to provide proper instructions, supervision and training to Embrich; failed to take measures to prevent the accident when Baxmeyer knew or should have known of the likelihood of an incident if the plaintiff attempted to secure a cable or free a dump truck; failed to provide Embrich with a chain or cable to pull a fully loaded tractor-trailer; failed to provide procedures and rules in using a bulldozer to free a dump truck stuck in the mud; failed to take proper precautions; failed to provide Embrich with proper equipment; failed to provide a proper roadway to dump loads without getting stuck in the mud; and allowed the area to become wet, muddy and “undriveable” without getting stuck.
Embrich is represented by Bruce R. Cook of Cook, Bartholomew, Shevlin, & Cook LLP in Belleville.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 18-L-174