Injuries alleged: Loss of spleen, spinal injuries
Case name: Larry Beverly Brown v. Tom Brigman Contractors Inc.
Court/case no.: Richland County Court of Common Pleas, No. 2021-CP-40-02112
Jury and/or judge: N/A
Amount: $3.25 million
Date: April 10, 2023
Attorneys: Richard A. Harpootlian and Phillip D. Barber of Richard A. Harpootlian, Columbia (for the plaintiff)
Defendant Tom Brigman Contractors Inc. had installed pipe on the south side of Congaree Road. A 30-foot-long section of pipe that went unused was stored on the north roadside on Dec. 21, 2020, for later use elsewhere.
The plaintiff alleged the pipe rolled into the road because of Tom Brigman’s negligence in storing the pipe by the road. The plaintiff alleged that Tom Brigman left the pipe by the side of the road for about two weeks on a sloping embankment, without any chocks, staking or bracing to reduce the likelihood of the movement.
The embankment was near railroad tracks running parallel to the road. At the time, the track ties near the collision site were worn out and scheduled for replacement, causing excessive vibration when trains passed over that section of track.
Based on seismic data collected at the scene, the plaintiff alleged the vibration of passing freight trains slowly dislodged the pipe, and that the passage of a CSX train only seconds before the collision was the final triggering event that moved the pipe into the road.
The defendant argued the pipe was moved by thieves attempting to steal it. Tom Brigman’s carrier paid $3.25 million to settle the plaintiff’s claims.