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.

(1) comment

Mo smo

Technically the operator should've been charged along with company, the company Martinrea of hopkinsville ky has a crane instructor that has been running cranes and training for 30yrs + even stated that once an operator has crane controls can be criminally held responsible if something were to happen. The operator has ran overhead crane for at least 5yrs only operator is supposed to be on trailer while loading-unloading of rolled steel and tooling dies. Truck driver was chaining the coil when operator of crane was hoisting riggings that caused the man to be crushed. Yea might have been a freak accident but Money is nothing justice should be served for this a human life is irreplaceable no money in the world could bring him back. Both the company and operator should be jailed not just sued. This report is from an un-named source that knows what happened and to be honest the operator is still employed at the company but no longer crane operator

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