Jury awards man $428,500 in lawsuit

A 30-year-old Bakersfield man who was injured in a cement-truck accident two years ago has won a $428,500 verdict against the truck company.
A Superior Court jury found RMC/Lonestar and its driver, David frank, were entirely at fault for the Aug.26, 1993, accident that injured the hip of George Edward Wright and rendered him disabled from an occupation he had worked since he was 14 years old.
Wright, who was represented by attorney John C. Hall in a 10-day trail, was a “chute man” whose job was to direct the flow of concrete as it came out of the truck. The accident occurred at the apartment construction site at Mondavi and Brimhall roads in northwest Bakersfield.
Wright contended that as Frank was backing up the truck with the chute extended, Frank released the chute brake, causing the chute to swing away from him.
Wright testified that he gave frank no signal to release the brake, although frank testified the way Wright was reaching for the chute indicated Wright wanted the brake to be released.
Wright moved toward the chute as it swung from him and at that point Frank engaged the brake, causing the chute to swing back toward Wright, striking him in the left hip. He suffered severe injuries.
Wright underwent major surgery in February 1994 and has since been unable to return to work as a concrete finisher. Wright now has a night desk job at a motel.
RMC/Lonestar was represented by attorney Robert D. Harding, who said a motion for a new trial will be made on the grounds the award was excessive.