POINT PLEASANT – A Point Pleasant sanitation worker who lost his leg to a commercial vehicle has agreed to a $4.35 million settlement.
Lamar Bland, 28, reached the settlement in his Ocean County suit, Bland v. Unique Scaffolding Systems, on June 20.
Bland was working as a sanitation worker for the Borough of Point Pleasant when he was struck by a commercial vehicle for Unique Scaffolding Systems on October 2, 2018. Bland was pinned between the Unique Scaffolding Systems vehicle and a garbage truck. The accident occurred on Route 88 in Point Pleasant.
The Unique Scaffolding Systems vehicle was driven by Juan Jorge, a company employee.
According to the suit, Bland sustained a fracture of the left tibia and fibula, and a displaced left femoral fracture. Despite numerous operations and attempts to repair his leg, Bland ultimately had his leg amputated below the knee.
According to Norman Hobbie of Hobbie, Corrigan & Bertucio in Eatontown, who represents Bland, Jorge did not see Bland because he took his eyes off the road to reach for his cup of coffee. He also claimed his vehicle’s windshield was fogged up at the time of the crash, but he admitted seeing flashing yellow lights on the rear of the trash truck, according to Hobbie.
Hobbie also noted that the defendants claimed that Bland was not wearing reflective garb at the time of the crash, contrary to Point Pleasant policy.
The suit states that Bland has been out of commission since the accident as “has suffered serious physical pain and loss of enjoyment of life.”
The settlement includes $1 million from Unique Scaffolding Systems’ primary policy with Nationwide, and $3.35 million from an excess carrier, Gotham Insurance, which had $5 million in coverage, according to Hobbie.
A GoFundMe account was created by Bland’s fiancée after she heard about the accident. She noted that the accident happened on Bland’s 27th birthday.