GWC Injury Lawyers partner Michael D. Fisher and attorney Bennett J. Baker have settled a lawsuit on behalf of a carpenter who was injured in a scaffold accident on a construction site for a value of more than $4,318,000.00.
The Plaintiff, a union carpenter who was erecting siding at a multi-building construction site, was working off of a pump jack scaffold at the time of the incident. The scaffold had been erected by his employer a week before without an end rail and was used by the Plaintiff and others during that week. As a result of this dangerous condition, the Plaintiff was caused to fall off the unprotected end, 25 feet to the frozen ground below.
Because of this incident, the Plaintiff suffered extreme injuries, including fractures of the face, the right leg, both arms, the ribs, and the vertebrae. He was hospitalized for 42 days and underwent numerous surgeries at a cost in excess of $1,037,000.00. Additionally, the Plaintiff is no longer able to work as a carpenter, resulting in an estimated future lifetime wage loss of $600,000.00.
In pursuing the general contractor who was in charge of the project, Mr. Fisher and Mr. Baker successfully argued that the Defendant, which had hired the Plaintiff’s employer as its subcontractor, was “contractually responsible for all construction means, methods, and procedures.” The Defendant’s responsibility included the enforcement of stringent safety rules for its subcontractors, which included the erection, inspection, and use of proper end rails on all scaffolding in compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.
“Our client’s employer erected the scaffold without the required end rails,” Mr. Fisher explained, “and the Defendant failed to identify and correct this dangerous condition before the incident, which was its responsibility. The Defendant’s negligence was a significant factor in our client’s injuries.”
The Defendant settled the matter for $3,000,000.00 plus an agreement to further fund a Medicare Set-Aside Account with an additional $28,032.00 for the Plaintiff’s future medical expenses. Additionally, GWC negotiated a settlement with the Plaintiff’s employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. The carrier agreed to waive its right to reimbursement for the $1,262,682.00 it had paid in workers’ compensation benefits and also to contribute $28,032.00 to the Medicare Set-Aside.