Notable Verdicts & Settlements in Construction Accident Cases
Construction fall ends in $1.2 Million Dollar Settlement Before Jury Selection
Shaffer & Gaier represented a union shop iron worker who was severely hurt in a construction fall. David M 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.
Burn Victim Receives Confidential Settlement
We represented a construction worker who was performing work at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. One of our clients responsibilities was to check the metal in the hull of several ships for any structural defects. As he was performing his inspections, a worker from one of the other sub-contractors left his blow torch inside the hull where our client was working. The worker did not realize that his blow torch has a gas leak and the entire hull of the container filled with combustible gas. When the worker came back to the work site to start welding again, there was a huge explosion burning our client’s body. We were able to secure several experts to establish that the construction site was unsafe and in fact there were several OSHA violations. The burn victim received a very substantial settlement.
$1 Million Settlement During Trial
Our client was a construction worker performing work at the University of Pennsylvania. Our client’s employer was hired to assist in the construction at the new Wharton School of Business. As Plaintiff was descending a stairway, one of the other subcontractor’s workers negligently removed a plank of wood creating a large hole. Our client did not see that the plank was missing and he fell into the hole, tearing his biceps which required surgeries. Our firm retained several construction experts to establish that this was an unreasonably dangerous work site created by the negligence of the other sub-contractor. After 4 days of trial, the matter settled against the sub-contractors that negligently created the dangerous job site.