Christopher C. Harvey v. New Jersey Department of Transportation
Type of Injury
Middlesex County, New Jersey
The parties agreed to a $2,650,000 settlement on the eve of trial, in mediation with Judge Jessica Mayer.
On May 20, 2011, plaintiff Christopher Harvey, 41, a road worker, was replacing pavement markers on Route 27 in Edison. While he was doing so, a safety truck, which was parked uphill and had been accidentally left by a co-worker in neutral gear, rolled downhill. It struck Harvey and pinned him to another truck. The impact crushed Harvey’s left leg and right foot.
Harvey was an employee of Traffic Lines Inc., a contractor for the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
He sued the Department of Transportation, alleging negligence in failing to properly supervise the project site.
He maintained that the two vehicles had been placed too close together on the site. He also argued that under state and federal law, the Department of Transportation had a duty to monitor safety on the site and that the accident would not have occurred if not for this breach in duty.
The defense counsel argued that the accident was the result of Harvey’s co-worker’s negligence, for which the department was not responsible.
Harvey’s engineering expert provided a report which argued that the department had notice of ongoing project dysfunction. He opined that the department did not understand or execute its supervision responsibilities.
The defense’s expert engineer disputed the report, arguing that the department was responsible only for general oversight.
Counsel for Harvey obtained acknowledgement that a worker’s compensation lien did not attach because the Department of Transportation is a public entity.