A Christian County jury returned a verdict Monday in a civil circuit case against a local factory, who was found liable for a Vine Grove man’s death in 2015.
In the lawsuit, Martinrea Hopkinsville, LLC, a defendant in the suit, was found by the jury to be 99.99 percent liable for the Oct. 26, 2015, death of 46-year-old Gregory Sean Engleman, according to court documents. The jury also determined Mark R. Acord, a co-defendant, was 0.01 percent at fault.
Engleman was a truck driver who was killed when a roll of steel over 15,000 pounds crushed him while making a delivery to the factor, according to New Era archives. An employee of Martinrea, Acord was the operator of the overhead crane that caused the steel to crush Engleman.
The jury determined Martinrea failed to “exercise ordinary care in the training and supervision of its employees including Mark Acord.” It was also found that Acord failed to “exercise ordinary care expected of a reasonably prudent crane operator under similar circumstances,” according to jury instructions.
The civil suit was filed against the company on behalf of Engleman’s family, who was survived by his wife and two sons. The jury awarded the family $12,802,165, according to court documents.
Engleman’s wife, Christine Engleman, was awarded $7.5 million for loss of companionship, and his two sons were awarded $1.5 million each. Additionally, because Engleman’s death was not found to be instantaneous, his estate was awarded $1 million for mental anguish and pain and suffering and $1,293,105 for destruction of power to labor and earn money. The estate was awarded $9,060 for funeral and burial expenses.
Circuit Judge John Atkins presided over the case. According to The Kentucky Trial Court Review, the previous largest personal injury verdict in Christian County is believed to be $1.266 million.