Man Trips At U.S. Post Office; Taxpayers Lose $135,000

In March 2010, Ricardo Palacios–a commercial truck driver with Direct Advertising–tripped over a wheel chock at a package drop-off dock at Santa Ana's United States Post Office on Sunflower Avenue, landed hard and fractured bones in his left foot.

To force the federal government to pay his expenses (including surgeries) plus expected, future costs, Palacios sued in August 2012.

Initially, government lawyers fought the case–claiming the injury amounted to a relatively minor, big toe dislocation and asserting that the plaintiff blamed himself at the time of the incident for not paying attention to his surroundings.


Mediation failed and a federal judge scheduled a five-day jury trial in Los Angeles.

But, in July, Palacios allowed a government picked doctor to conduct a thorough exam of the injuries and civil lawyers inside the U.S. Attorney's Office decided to abandon the fight this month.

Both parties stipulated to U.S. District Court Judge Fernando M. Olguin that a $135,000 payment from the federal treasury to Palacios ends the litigation.

According to court records, the truck driver originally demanded $1.2 million in compensation.

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