On Black Friday 2007, Hogan Trucking driver Gregory Baird, of Oklahoma, was unloading his truck in the dark at a Troy, Missouri, Dollar General store.
While Baird was unloading, a 38-pound box crashed onto his head. The blow knocked Baird unconscious, injuring his neck and back, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
This week, jurors in a St. Louis U.S. District Court awarded $4.6 million to Baird and $250,000 to his wife, however, jurors also found that Baird was 52% at fault, so they reduced the award by that amount: $2.2 million for Baird and $125,000 for his wife.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, jurors believed Baird should have used a light when loading or unloading in the dark. Attorneys for Dollar General argued that Baird could have unloaded in the light the next day, but Baird’s attorney said that Baird would have likely been fired by Hogan Trucking if he had waited.
Baird’s lawyer John D. Anderson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Baird is still suffering. “He’s in terrible shape. Obviously, the jury believed that to come back with a verdict that’s almost $5 million dollars.”
Nine doctors who testified for Dollar General said that Baird wasn’t hurt, but “The jury apparently didn’t believe any of them,” Anderson said.