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Worker Paralyzed in Accident Settles for $17M

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

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A construction worker who suffered a broken neck from a work site accident settled his lawsuit last week for $17 million.

Brian Smith, then 42, was working on a jobsite in January 2015, in Cape May, New Jersey, offloading a shipment of 3,500-pound concrete blocks, when the trolley boom lift attached to his truck snapped into two pieces.

© / Marilyn Nleves

A construction worker who suffered a broken neck from a work site accident settled his lawsuit last week for $17 million.

Smith was struck in the head, which caused his neck to fracture. He was taken via emergency helicopter to a hospital where his spine was fused. He was in rehabilitation for 10 months after the incident and is now paralyzed.

The Case

Smith, who was represented by Matthew Casey and John Pinto, of Ross Feller Casey, sued the boom lift's manufacturer, USTC; the dealer who sold the boom lift, Garden State Engine & Equipment; and its owner, Kennedy Concrete, in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

"We're pleased to be able to recover money that will go a long way towards helping Mr. Smith live the rest of his life," Casey told The Legal Intelligencer.

"The only extent to which the resolution is in any way disappointing was the fact that there was limited insurance coverage. The case would have settled for substantially more money had there been more insurance coverage."

In the case, Smith alleged that USTC was responsible for design defects in the boom; that Garden State supplied inferior quality bolts to Kennedy for the installation; and that Kennedy failed to perform proper maintenance on the boom lift.

In the court papers, both USTC and Garden State denied anything wrong with the equipment they supplied and blamed Kennedy for negligence. Kennedy disputed that, claiming that it inspected the machine annually.

None of the companies have commented on the case.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Cranes; Good Technical Practice; Laws and litigation; Lawsuits; North America; Safety

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