Shaffer & Gaier represented a union shop iron worker who was severely hurt in a construction fall. David Markowski was working at Misercorida University in Luzerne County PA. David was working on an expansion project to construct a field house for the school. The field house was designed to house various locker rooms and gym equipment inside.
The University contracted with general contractor, Sordoni Construction, to act as the general contractor and construction manager. Sordoni then hired Rise Construction to fabricate and erect steel for the field house. Rise then hired David’s employer, Mid Valley Steel, to erect the steel structure for the field house.
In January of 2012 David was assigned to work at the field house. He started working 7-10 days prior to the accident. When he came to the site, David testified that he was shown a brief training video but was never given any fall protection training. In addition, he never saw any safety personnel at the site from Rise or the general contractor, Sordoni.
On January 16, 2012, David was instructed to climb a 15 foot wall to position steel joists that were to be welded the next day. He was not given any fall protection and there were no anchor points where he was working to tie off his harness. He was in essence, walking a balance beam on a blustery January day. While he was walking the wall, David fell to the ground shattering both feet and ankles.
Shaffer & Gaier brought suit against the general contractor and sub-contractor alleging that they violated their respective safety duties. Through one of the premier construction experts in the country, Shaffer & Gaier established that both the contractor and sub contractor violated their respective duties in failing to provide a safe work environment.
Through the litigation, the general contractor filed a Motion for Summary Judgment and that Motion was originally granted by the Magistrate Judge. However, Shaffer & Gaier successfully overturned that decision and the case was prepared to go to trial. Before jury selection, the case was settled for $1.2 Million. In addition, David had a worker’s compensation lien that exceeded $300k, Shaffer & Gaier negotiated so that the lien would be totally waived. David, in essence, received a $1.5 Million dollar settlement because we were able to have the worker’s compensation lien totally waived.