ClickCease Worksite Injury | Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger

Worksite Injury

In Worker v. Telecom Companies (confidential case number and venue) Khaldoun Baghdadi, Sara Peters and Joseph Nicholson, negotiated a confidential settlement in excess of $29 million for a telecommunications worker who suffered catastrophic electrical shock and thermal burn injuries requiring amputation of an arm. The plaintiff was in an elevated aerial bucket splicing a non-electrified communications cable. While working, he made contact with one of the defendants’ high voltage electrical power line which was strung above him, but not attached to, the utility pole he was working on. State regulations specify the minimum safe clearance distances that must be maintained around such uninsulated high voltage lines to protect non-electrical workers like the plaintiff. The Walkup team was able to show that not only was the power line sagging too low at the time of injury, but also that the responsible party had identified the dangerous condition at this precise location more than a year earlier, and failed to fix it. As a result, the plaintiff suffered third and fourth degree burns to more than one-third of his body, resulting in chronic pain and disability. In seeking to establish comparative fault, the multiple defendants argued that the plaintiff either ignored the obvious hazard of the overhead power line or was not properly trained by his own employer. The multi-party settlement included contributions by various contractors that either inspected or worked on the site prior to plaintiff and failed to remedy or warn of the hazard.