GWC Injury Lawyers partner Michael D. Fisher and attorney Michael W. Kopsick have obtained a $1,725,000.00 settlement for their client, a union carpenter, who suffered extreme injuries during the construction of a grocery store because of work site negligence.
The carpenter had been stepping through a doorway undergoing construction when he tripped over a segment of “bottom track,” a 1.5-inch-high framing device used to secure wall studs that had been left across the foot of the doorway. As a result of his fall, the carpenter suffered a fracture of the right thumb, tears of the right elbow tendon, adhesive capsulitis of the right shoulder, and complex regional pain syndrome throughout the right arm.
The carpenter’s medical treatment was extensive, including multiple nerve block injections and, ultimately, the surgical implantation of a spinal cord stimulator to alleviate pain, all at a cost of over $102,000.00.
The carpenter will likely never fully return to his former physical condition – or, more devastatingly, his former profession, at an estimated lifetime wage loss of more than $830,000.00.
“Our client has a permanent weightlifting restriction of ten pounds,” Mr. Fisher said, “and his right arm mobility is severely limited. A carpenter has to hammer, saw, and lift heavy objects all day, something our client can no longer do. The man lost more than the full use of his right arm that day. He lost his livelihood.”
GWC pursued the general contractor in charge of the construction project for damages on the Plaintiff’s behalf. Mr. Fisher and Mr. Kopsick successfully argued that the Defendant, which had hired the Plaintiff and his employers as subcontractors, was “fully and solely responsible” for all portions of the work under the project. The company therefore had the responsibility to inspect and remedy any unsafe conditions on the work site. According to regulations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), this “responsibility” included inspecting all doors and other passageways to ensure that they are “kept cleared for free and safe movement of employees.”
“Failing to remove this bottom track from the doorway created a tripping hazard in an area where people were likely to walk,” Mr. Fisher explained, “making the Defendant responsible for our client’s injuries.”
In addition to the $1,725,000 million settlement, GWC negotiated a deal with the workers’ compensation insurance carrier for the client’s employer. The carrier agreed not to seek reimbursement for the $465,609.00 it had paid for the client’s medical treatment and disability wages and to further fund a Medicare Set-Aside Account with an additional $104,600.00 for future medical expenses.