$2,195,000 Settlement for Worker Injured at Orange County Construction Project

Our client was completing work on the first floor of an Orange County work site when he fell through an opening in the floor to the basement 10-12 feet below. The large opening in the floor, left unguarded, was created for a staircase that would be built later. The fall severely injured our client who suffered injuries to his head and face, fractures to his spine, as well as bilateral wrist injuries. Prior to jury selection, this case settled for $2,195,000. This matter was handled by Partners Jeffrey A. Block and S. Joseph Donahue.

Court and County
Supreme Court, Orange County

Description of Plaintiff
Our client was 40 years old at the time of the accident and worked installing fire sprinkler systems.

Description of Case
At the time of the accident, our client was working at a construction project installing a fire sprinkler system. While working on the first floor he fell through an opening in the floor, falling to the basement level 10-12 feet below. The opening in the floor where he fell was the location where a staircase was going to be installed at a later date. The opening was approximately three feet wide and eight feet long. At the time of the accident, the opening was completely unguarded, and our client was not provided with any fall protection.

Damages
As a result of the accident, our client was taken by EMS to a local hospital and then transferred to a regional trauma center due to the severity of his injuries. He was diagnosed with injuries to his head and face including a right frontal skull fracture, a right maximally fracture, and a right orbital fracture. He also suffered fractures to his spine including cervical transverse process fractures at C3-7, thoracic vertebral body fractures at T5, T6, T11 and T12 and a lumbar L1 transverse process fracture. Our client also sustained bilateral wrist fractures. The fractures healed without the need for surgery.

Our client also experienced significant deficits to his right arm, including weakness, sensation deficits and limited range of motion. He was diagnosed with an injury to the brachial plexus, a network of nerves that control movement, strength and sensation to the right arm.

He was hospitalized for two weeks, during which time he received physical and occupational therapy.

Following discharge, our client continued conservative care, undergoing outpatient physical therapy and occupational therapy. As a result of continued limitations to his right arm he ultimately underwent a Right Brachial Plexus nerve transplant surgery. The surgery improved the condition of his right arm, however, he continued to experience limitations to his range of motion and weakness.

Despite experiencing ongoing limitations to his right arm, as well as neck and back pain, our client was able to return to work as a cook in a restaurant. He was no longer able to work installing fire sprinkler systems due to his condition.

Settlement Amount
The matter settled for $2,195,000 just prior to jury selection.

Attorneys
The matter was handled by Partners Jeffrey A. Block and S. Joseph Donahue.