Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Mar 10, 2020

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A 50 year old Pennsylvania man who lost both of his legs after a Caterpillar bulldozer ran over him while he was working at the Chrin Brothers Sanitary Landfill in Williams Township settled his case against the truck manufacturer for $16.25 million.

Product liability?

Although this would seem to be a Pennsylvania personal injury lawsuit, details about the case are sketchy. According to a news report in the Morning Call, now 50 year old Scott Skirpan was working at the Chrin Brothers Sanitary Landfill in 2006 when a Caterpillar bulldozer ran over him. The article says that Skirpan’s co-workers simply stood by and did nothing to help him. Skirpan had to call 911 from his cell phone to get help.

He was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital in Fountain Hill where he remained in critical condition for quite a while. At one point, his heart stopped beating. Although he eventually recovered, doctors were not able to save his legs and both had to be amputated. He sued Caterpillar and four others, including the Caterpillar dealer and three individuals, for the accident and the parties settled with him for $16.25 million.

Turning tragedy to triumph

Even though Skirpan suffered a great loss, he was able to turn tragedy into triumph. Only a few months after the accident occurred, he completed a 5K event using his newly acquired wheelchair. He was honored in 2007 at St. Luke’s Hospital’s’Night of Heroes’ which is held for patients who survive traumatic injuries and the emergency medical staff who saved them.