Fort Meade Man, Injured at Work, Awarded $2.55 Million

BARTOW – Monday, October 7, 2013 | A Fort Meade man who was injured in 2010 when a flatbed truck backed over him at work has won a $2.55 million jury verdict against the driver and the driver’s employer.

Michael Camacho, 36, was sorting through steel beams on a job site at the Mosaic fertilizer plant on Dec. 5, 2010, when Michael Scott Wert, an employee of Rubber Applications Inc. in Mulberry, backed over him in a 2008 F-350 flatbed truck.

Injuries to his back left Camacho, a welder, unable to continue that work, said Winter Haven lawyer Lance Holden, who with his law partner Web Brennan represented Camacho.

Holden said their client underwent back surgery and was reassigned to light duty at work.

In its verdict, a Polk County jury determined Wert was 90 percent responsible for Camacho’s injuries, and MS Industrial Corp., for whom Camacho worked, should bear 10 percent of the responsibility.

Defense lawyers representing Wert and Rubber Applications said MS Industrial Corp. should have erected barricades and taken additional safety precautions at the job site, according to a pretrial stipulation.

Tampa lawyer Jorge Santiero, who represented the defense during the eight-day trial, declined comment for this report, saying the case might go into appeal.

The jury awarded Camacho $2.08 million for lost earnings and for pain and suffering and $480,048 in damages to his wife, Stephanie.