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Injured worker agrees to $16.3 million settlement

A 47-year-old construction worker who lost his leg while working on a renovation project at a landmark Philadelphia building has recently agreed to settle his lawsuit against four defendants, including the project's general contractor. The workplace accident also left the man confined to a wheelchair with a crushed left foot. He claims that he suffers post-traumatic stress disorder. The man will receive $16.3 million according to the terms of the settlement, which was announced on May 28.

The man was working in the building's basement while attempting to place a shore pole beneath a 3,000 pound base stone. The man's leg was amputated and his other foot crushed when the stone fell. It reportedly took rescuers 20 minutes to free the injured man from beneath the large mass.

His lawsuit alleged that the general contractor placed workers in danger by not following safety procedures. The suit further claimed that the base stone was not adequately secured after the demolition of a sidewalk. The $16.3 million settlement is to be paid by the general contractor, the general contractor's parent company, the firm that oversaw the demolition and an engineering company.

This case shows that workplace safety may even be compromised in high-profile construction projects. It also demonstrates that injured workers may be wise to pursue civil remedies when they are hurt on the job due to insufficient training, substandard equipment or lax safety protocols. While workers' compensation is a program designed to assist those injured in workplace accidents regardless of fault, a lawsuit such as this one is brought to address negligence. A personal injury attorney with experience in this area may assist injured workers with a worker's compensation claim, and they could also file a lawsuit against companies that fail to protect their workers.

Source: The Pennsylvania Record, "Injured construction worker reaches $16.3 million settlement", Jim Boyle, May 30, 2014

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Gregory R. Gifford
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