Do I have a case against the milk delivery company for dropping crates of milk on my wrist during delivery?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Do I have a case against the milk delivery company for dropping crates of milk on my wrist during delivery?

Do I have a case against the milk delivery company for dropping crates of milk on my wrist during delivery? I work for the board of education in the kitchen as a heavy duty worker. During a milk delivery one man was bringing in 10 crates of milk that contain 50 – 6 oz. cartons per crate. On a normal day we would have a delivery of 12 crates but on this particular day we only needed 10. Usually 2 guys bring in the 12 crates six crates each guy but on this day one guy brought in all 10 crates by himself. It was the beginning of our first lunch. Which we have kindergarten kids and I saw that he was struggling with those 10 crates on a handtruck so I told him to stop right there and put them down before he got to close to the kids. As he was trying to sit down the handtruck it dropped to the ground and the front five crates fell forward there were 3 kids in the area and they aren’t paying attention to milk coming in like it’s candy. I reached to brace the crate so they would not hit the kids and the crate ended up slamming my wrist between the crates that were falling and the milk chest. My entire right arm went numb and I called my field office to report the accident. They told me to fill out an accident report which I couldn’t fully do being that I was in pain and I’m a righty which was the hurt arm and to go home and get my arm checked out. My wife finish the report for me and I was out of work for 3 months with no pay except for 5 workers comp days. Is there anyway I have a case against the milk company for negligence or anything else that I might not know of? I already have a lawyer for my compensation.

Asked on July 11, 2017 under Personal Injury, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Based on what you write, you very well may have a case against the milk company and also this individual worker. Trying to bring in 10 crates each weighing around 20 lbs--so around 200 lbs in total--at once is negligent or careless; that makes the employee liable. The employer would be liable because an employer is responsible, under the theory of "respondeat superior" (you can remember it as, "let the superior respond," or "let the employer answer for what as done") which makes employers responsible for injuries caused by the careless acts of their employees committed during work. While you cannot receive "double compenstion," so you can't get from them anything (e.g. medical costs) you are already receiving from somewhere else (like insurance), you can sue them for anything (like lost wages) you're not otherwise being paid. 
(As an aside: 1 liquid oz. weighs 1 oz., more or less, so 50 6-ounce bottles is 300 ounces; at 16 oz. to a pound, that's 18.75 pounds per crate, plus the weight of bottles and crate, so around 20 lbs per crate.)

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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