November, 2006 – A Calhoun County jury returned a $4.2 million dollar verdict for Daniel Olive and Jeffrey McWilliams. Mike Crow of Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis and Miles, P.C. and Mark Andrews of Morris, Cary, Andrews & Talmadge of Dothan, Alabama, tried a week long case against Fed-Ex Freight East, Inc.
The Plaintiffs in this case were subcontractors who were installing a communication satellite at a truck depot. While installing the satellite, one of the plaintiffs stepped backwards through a skylight that was the same color as the tin roof. McWilliams, his co-worker, was on the ground and attempting to catch or break Olive's fall. Both were injured and one suffered a brain injury (three subdural hematomas).
Evidence was presented at trial that there were two prior falls on the same roof through a skylight one year prior to the Plaintiff's incident. The Defendant made four inspections a year of the roof. Six years had elapsed between the first fall and the trial and the Defendants have failed to eliminate the skylight hazards as required by OSHA regulations. The jury heard the facts and awarded $4.2 Million.