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$25,000 Award To South Carolina Prisoner Injured Performing Community Service

$25,000 Award To South Carolina Prisoner Injured Performing Community Service

A South Carolina court entered an award of $25,000 to a prisoner who was working community service on a trash truck when his foot was run over by a car.

James Everette Ford, 35, was a prisoner assigned to retrieve trash cans, empty them into a garbage truck and return them as a part of his community service while incarcerated. As he took a step away from the truck to return an emptied can to the curb one day, a motorist ran over his foot. He received a compound fracture that required surgery and resulted in a 25% permanent disability rating. He had difficulty standing and walking because of the injury. Represented by attorney Donald L. “Chuck” Allen of Anderson, Ford filed suit in the Greenville Court of Common Pleas alleging that the defendant motorist failed to exercise due care in passing the truck.

The defendant, who was insured by State farm, countered that the plaintiff stepped out in front of her car and she was unable to stop. She also disputed the severity and permanency of his injuries.

On July 19, 2007, the jury deliberated for two hours before returning a $7,500 award in Ford’s favor with a 50% finding of comparative negligence. The trial court granted an additur of $42,500, increasing the award to $50,000, then reduced it by 50% to $25,000 due to the comparative negligence. See: Ford v. Mansbach, Greenville County South Carolina Court of Common Pleas, No. 2006CP230775.

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Related legal case

Ford v. Mansbach