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Jury Assigns Zero Fault to Foodservice Company for Injury to Beer Distributor Employee

Case Study

Jury Assigns Zero Fault to Foodservice Company for Injury to Beer Distributor Employee

December 23, 2021
John M. Allen

In a jury trial that lasted five days, the team of John M. Allen and Andrea M. Sciarratta, members of Goldberg Segalla’s Civil Litigation and Trial group in St. Louis, successfully defended a foodservice company against an injured worker’s claim for more than $2 million in damages.

Our client, the foodservice company, leased a refrigerated trailer and ramp to one of its restaurant customers for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration. After the event, the restaurant told their beer vendor to pick up the remaining kegs. As he was picking up the kegs, an employee of the beer vendor sustained a severe injury to his foot and ankle when the ramp to the trailer collapsed. The injured worker sued the restaurant, and the restaurant sued our client, the foodservice company. In closing, the plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award in excess of $2 million.

The restaurant asserted a number of different theories of liability against our client, but because of our teams’ strategic maneuvers before and during trial, the only theory of liability left for the restaurant to submit to the jury was that our client was negligent for failing to warn that an optional lift assist system had been removed from the trailer. The jury didn’t buy the restaurant’s argument, finding in favor of the foodservice company and assigning no fault to our client. Instead, the jury assigned 54.5% of the fault to the plaintiff and 45.5% to the restaurant operator, and awarded more than $400,000 in damages.


Goldberg Segalla’s Civil Litigation and Trial practice group features a roster stacked with litigators and nationally recognized authorities in a number of critical legal disciplines, bringing exceptional strength and savvy to the defense of a wide range of liability claims. Our attorneys have a wealth of experience defending companies of all sizes in various industries, along with municipalities, school districts, and other public entities, in a broad spectrum of matters. We pride ourselves on the aggressive and cost-efficient manner in which we defend all claims. In matters of liability, we employ creative settlement resolutions and resort to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) where possible.