The Plaintiff's Complaint alleges and the Defendant admits, that the Defendant owned and operated a grain elevator at Bountiful, North Dakota, at all material times with which we are concerned, for the purpose of storing, handling, and collecting grain; and that the Plaintiff was a regularly employed member of the Bountiful Rural Fire Association; and the Association responded to a fire at the Defendant's grain elevator at Bountiful in the early morning hours of October 27, 1984; and the Plaintiff assisted in fighting the fire.
The Plaintiff further alleges, and it is uncontroverted in the testimony, that the fire originated in a pile of grain doors near the elevator and then spread to the roof of the elevator.
The Plaintiff further alleges that while fighting the fire and operating the lift, the lift fell free and out of control for a distance of approximately eighty feet to the ground level, causing the Plaintiff serious personal injuries.
The Plaintiff alleges that the Defendant or its agents or employees were negligent in one or more of the following respects:
1) Improperly maintaining the lift and appurtenances;
2) Allowing the lift and appurtenances to be in a worn, dangerous, unsafe, and dilapidated state of repairs;
3) Failing to keep the equipment in a safe condition, but rather, allowing the equipment to become defective;
4) Failing to properly maintain any or adequate safety measures for persons using the equipment;
5) Failing to properly repair the equipment;
6) Continuing to use the equipment in a defective condition because of improper maintenance and repair.
The Plaintiff further alleges that as a proximate result of the negligence of the Defendant, the Plaintiff sustained personal injuries of a permanent nature, fractures of a vertebra, and spinal column injuries as well as sprained and strained muscles and ligaments in the back and other parts of the body. The Plaintiff further alleges
1) that those injuries caused paralysis with loss of muscular and nervous control from the waist down,
2) that the condition is of a permanent nature,
3) that back surgery including the fusion of vertebrae was required,
4) that a brace was necessary for an extensive period of time, and
5) that further extensive and intensive medical treatment will be necessary.
Plaintiff further alleges that those injuries caused intense pain and agony which continue now and will continue until death.
Plaintiff further alleges that those injuries have permanently prevented work as a rural firefighter, the Plaintiff's usual vocation which paid $12,000 per year, and work as a carpenter and farmer, additional duties which paid in excess of $6,000 per year; that as earning capacity in those respects has been permanently impaired, the Plaintiff claims damages in the sum of $600,000.
The Plaintiff further alleges that as a proximate result of Defendant's negligence, the Plaintiff has incurred extensive expense and will continue to incur extensive expense for medical and surgical treatment and care.
Plaintiff prays judgment against the Defendant for the sum of $600,000 for loss of earnings, and $200,000 for general damages for the disabling effects of the injuries and for pain and suffering with the medical expenses incurred and foreseeable, for a total claim in the amount of $800,000.