Willie R. Walker vs. Florida Power & Light Company
Miami-Dade Circuit Court in the 11th Judicial Circuit
Case No. 2008-29760
$4.3 Million Awarded to Injured Longshoreman
The plaintiff worked as a longshoreman at the Port of Miami. On July 31, 2004, he was operating a 167,000-pound top loader when the pavement collapsed under him. Unbeknownst to the plaintiff, he had driven over an underground tunnel being built to carry electrical lines from the port to Fisher Island. In the collapse, the plaintiff, then 49, was tossed inside the driver’s cage 14 feet above the ground. As a result, he suffered injuries to his back which required surgery and left him with a permanent restricted range of motion.
The plaintiff filed a negligence suit against FPL, Danella (general contractor) and Delta Directional (drilling company). The plaintiff maintained that, pursuant to an agreement between FPL and Miami-Dade County (the port owner), FPL was ultimately liable for any accidents that occurred on the construction site. In addition, the plaintiff argued that Danella was liable for failing to keep traffic away from the site and Delta was liable for the negligent drilling.
Verdict for the Plaintiff: $4.39 million. The parties settled for an undisclosed amount.