Verdicts and Settlements for Clients Injured in Workplace Accidents
Our attorneys represented the surviving wife and two children of a Northern California real estate developer. While participating as a passenger in a “ride along” on a self–propelled man lift (which was to be used for accessing heating and ventilating ducting in his real estate projects), the decedent was killed when the lift tipped over. Our product liability team demonstrated that the lift, as designed, had a center of gravity that was too high and the risk of tip–over was not adequately protected against either by a widened wheelbase or by the use of outriggers. The manufacturer attempted to blame the operator of the device for driving it on an “uneven” exterior surface when, in fact, the lift was intended for indoor use. The recovery made on behalf of our clients included compensation for the future lost earnings of the decedent and general damages for the loss of a husband and father’s love, care, comfort and society. The settlement included court-supervised periodic payments throughout the lives of the two children to provide for college education and security during their young adult years.
Construction Site - $7,000,000 Catastrophic injury settlement
Our catastrophic injury lawyers resolved a construction site injury claim on behalf of a laborer who was run over by a frontend loader when its operator inadvertently put the machine in reverse while the plaintiff was directing traffic at job site. The machine ran over the plaintiff's left side causing permanent nerve damage to his left shoulder and arm as well as a fractured pelvis, multiple fractured ribs and lacerations of the spleen, kidney and bladder. The 47-year-old plaintiff was rendered totally disabled from returning to his occupation as a laborer and light-equipment operator. The general contractor, who employed the loader operator, alleged that the plaintiff was in a place where he should not have been, and that he was partially at fault because he had time to avoid being run over before being struck.
Our construction site specialists represented a 40–year–old utility worker who was badly burned over more than 60 percent of his body while performing routine telephone line replacement. During the course of his work, a rotted power pole fractured and high-voltage lines carrying in excess of 12,000 volts of electrical current fell on our client, who was standing in his bucket truck. Our attorneys brought suit against the responsible utility and demonstrated that the rotten pole should have been discovered more than five years before this tragedy. Using experts in the field of plastic surgery, internal medicine, forensic economics and job site management, our attorneys recovered $7 million on behalf of the injured worker. The recovery included reimbursement for lost wages and future wages and benefits as well as past medical expenses exceeding $1 million. As part of the settlement, our attorneys also negotiated reimbursement and resolution of an outstanding workers' compensation lien in excess of $1 million.
We successfully represented the interests of a 42–year–old metal worker who suffered catastrophic brain injury after a 50-pound piece of metal was ejected from a metal–forming lathe that was manufactured by the defendant, a Japanese corporation. On behalf of our brain-damaged client, our attorneys demonstrated that the lathe had been manufactured and sold without analyzing all possible failure modes and without including protection for work pieces or chuck components to be contained within the chamber of the lathe. Our attorneys were able to prove that the manufacturer knew of at least two similar lathe accidents, but had taken no remedial action. Under the terms of the settlement, approximately 75 percent was paid in cash and 25 percent was dedicated to the purchase of multiple annuities to help pay for ongoing medical costs and to provide financial support for the wife and children of our injured client. As part of the settlement, a workers' compensation lien in excess of $1 million was also compromised and waived.
Our construction litigation team obtained a cash and annuity settlement with a value in excess of $2 million on behalf of the survivors of a sheet metal worker who fell four stories to his death through a defective scaffold railing at a construction site near San Francisco. The decedent was working as an independent contractor on a reroofing project at a large private residence. Our attorneys demonstrated that the building, which had been entirely scaffolded by a subcontractor, was in an unsafe condition. Using experts in construction site management, scaffold erection and forensic economics, our wrongful death attorneys proved that the scaffold and its cross–arms had not been properly secured and that this error resulted in the decedent’s death. The recovery included economic damages exceeding $1 million, representing the loss of future salary, benefits and household services of the decedent.
Falling Rebar — Permanent Back Injury
Our construction litigation team obtained a settlement in a confidential amount on behalf of a 25–year–old scaffold erector who was injured during the construction of a multiplex movie theater in the San Francisco Bay Area. While working on the fifth story of an eight-story building, next to an unfinished elevator shaft, our client was struck by a 12-foot length of rebar that had been dropped by employees working for a different subcontractor. The metal rods struck our client in the neck, resulting in multiple ruptured disks. Using experts in the field of construction site management, orthopedic surgery and rehabilitation, our construction site team demonstrated that our client could no longer work in manual labor or as a scaffold erector. Suit was brought against the company that employed the laborers who dropped the length of steel. The settlement included full compensation for all lost wages, past and future, reimbursement of past medical expenses, an amount to compensate our client for pain and suffering, as well as a fund to offset the cost of any needed future treatment or surgery. The settlement also included resolution of an outstanding claim for workers' compensation benefits that was asserted by our client's employers.