Truck Driverís Family Awarded $1.5M in Settlement

Truck Driverís Family Awarded $1.5M in Settlement

The family of a man, who was crushed and killed by a load of plywood at New London’s State Pier in 2003, settled in their wrongful-death lawsuit.

The man’s family, who he was extremely close to, will be awarded $1.5 million in the settlement.

Unfortunate Accident

The day of the accident, Michael Ryckman was picking up a load of plywood for a Washington-based trucking company.

The scale on the truck indicated that the load was heavier than the allowable weight of 80,000 pounds.

Ryckman drove the truck back to Logistec and ordered them to unload the excess weight.

“It’s 4 p.m. on a Friday, and they wanted to get out of there, so they grabbed the nearest forklift, which was far too small, and it caused the accident,” explained Robert I. Reardon, attorney for the Ryckman family.

According to reports, the back of the forklift slammed down and the bundles of plywood fell off, crushing Ryckman.

“He was trying to do the right thing as a trucker, and it ended up costing him his life,” commented Reardon.

Family in Mourning Takes Action

The Ryckman family filed suit against Logistec USA Inc., the cargo handler and the Sherwood Lumber CO., on behalf of Michael.

The 54 year-old trucker was extremely close to his mother, sisters, nieces and nephews and would stay with them as his floated from town to town for work.

“This is an extraordinary settlement for a single male who never had children,” said Reardon.

The family remembers Michael as a big “teddy bear” who would bring them gifts with every visit like Santa Claus.

“ It really was very hard to take,” says mother Claudean Lindhorst, “A mother’s not supposed to lose her children before she’s gone.”

The Settlement

Logistec USA Inc. has agreed to pay the Ryckman family $1.35 million while Sherwood Lumber CO. is paying them $150,000.

The Occupational and Safety Health Administration also fined Logistec $15, 500 for violations of their safety code.

When the case was investigated, the agency discovered the forklift was overloaded and had a faulty brake, a leak and worn hydraulic lines.

(Source: The Day)

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