Mr. Salamanca noticed a clog in the delivery line while he was holding onto the hose. He advised the pump operator to turn off the pump and return to the hopper and clear the clog. Mr. Salamanca continued to hold onto the end of the hose, and when the pump was turned back on, the clog broke loose causing the hose to whip violently and strike Mr. Salamanca.
Plaintiff sustained a torn rotator cuff and underwent surgery. Plaintiff incurred $29,000 in medical expenses and returned to work in a different capacity other than construction within one year. However, plaintiff's physician recommended he not return to concrete construction due to his injury. Defendant argued that the accident was Plaintiff's fault for holding onto the end of the hose knowing that when the pump was turned back on, it had the potential to whip violently. Defendant also argued that even if Mr. Salamanca could not return to work, his work life expectancy in the concrete trades could only have been three or four more years since he was already in his 50's. Pre-trial offer by the defense was $100,000. Plaintiff offered to settle the case via C.C.P. Section 998 for $400,000. Verdict: $650,000. After the verdict, defendants had to pay costs and interest which brought the total judgment to over $700,000.