A black lawyer and a team of other attorneys recently won a $114.5 million verdict in a case of a white man who was severely burned on the job.

LaBarron N. Boone represented John S. Aultman, a lineman employed in Demopolis, AL, who received a severe electrical burn while he installed a power line in Dec. 1995.

The suit was against Terex-Telect manufacturer. Aultman, married with three children, lost his right arm as well as the use of his left arm. The jury found wanton conduct on the part of the manufacturer in the design on the bucket truck that was used by the lineman.

An alert by the federal government in 1993 warned all manufacturers, including Terex-Telect, that improper hoses were being used by mechanics in the field that were conductive. It also warned that lineman and mechanics all over the country did not understand the serious nature that the hazard created.

It was proven during the trial that the control handle on the bucket was not insulated and that it should have been. The failure to insulate the handle was proven to be an industry-wide problem.

“The industry has chosen to gamble with the lives and limbs of workers throughout the country,” Boone said. “This verdict should case a major change in the industry thinking.”

Boone is an attorney with the Montgomery, AL-based law firm of Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C. He is a 1990 graduate of Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering. He earned his law degree from the University of Alabama in 1995.

He also was a member of the legal team that won a $581 million verdict for a Black family, who charged that a finance company tried to cheat them out of $1,200 for two satellite dishes (JET, May, 31).

Boone has a received a total of almost $1 billion in verdicts in various cases this year.

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