Dump Truck Operator Sues Town, Housing Authority 

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Saying he was injured two summers ago while working on an affordable housing project in New Canaan, a Brookfield man is suing the town and several municipal agencies and companies.

According to a lawsuit filed this week in state Superior Court, Karl Nelson had been working for Newtown Mulch and Outdoor when, around midday on July 10, 2017, the dump truck he was driving began to pitch forward and ultimately tipped over as he tried to dump fill at the base of a retaining wall on the Millport Avenue Apartments site.

That happened in part because the tri-axle dump truck was overfilled and also because the filled area where Nelson backed up was itself soft from heavy rains, the lawsuit said.

“The accident was caused by the defendants,” according to the lawsuit, filed by attorney John A. Keyes of Branford. Those defendants include the New Canaan Housing Authority, Sweeney Excavation Inc. of Hamden, Enterprise Builders Inc. of Newington and Jonathan Rose Companies of Milford. 

The New Canaan Town Clerk received the complaint Thursday.

In it, Keyes said the defendants violated a provision of the state Building Code that says “excavation and fill for buildings and structures shall be constructed and protected so as not to endanger life or property.” 

“The site was not properly inspected, or maintained, or prepared for safety by the defendants,” the lawsuit said. 

It wasn’t “properly level, solid and or strong enough to handle the weight of the truck,” and the defendants “did not properly report or investigate the accident,” it said.

As a result of what happened, Nelson “suffered a severe injury to his left shoulder which required surgery and may require further surgery,” as well as pain, expense, loss of function, “permanent disabling injuries” and loss of earning capacity, the lawsuit said. He will “continue to have his normal activities diminished and disrupted” as a result of the accident, it said.

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