$1 Million Recovery for Construction Worker Who Fell from Unguarded Scaffolding He Was Directed to Work on
On March 4, 2009 a 30 year old Clark Law Firm client was directed to replace a framed in window on a townhouse under construction on a development project called “Country Club of the Poconos” in Marshalls Creek, Pennsylvania. He was directed by his foreman, who was working alongside him, to climb a scaffold and remove and reset the window. Plaintiff alleged that his direct employer, a rough carpentry subcontractor on the project, was receiving pressure from the general contractor to get the work done as fast as possible, without regard for safety. The scaffolding had no guardrails and the worker was not provided any fall protection in violation of several OSHA and industry fall protection standards. The worker fell approximately 15 feet to the ground. A photo from the incident scene is shown on this page.
OSHA conducted an investigation and issued fines and penalties to the direct employer of the worker. Clark Law Firm showed there was an ongoing practice on this project to disregard the safety rules, including noncompliance with OSHA fall protection and scaffolding safety standards.
The worker was admitted to Lehigh Valley Hospital. He was diagnosed with closed head injury, concussion and facial fractures. He also broke three ribs from the fall. Surgery was not indicated at that time. He was out of work for about two years after the fall.
The worker suffered from ongoing headaches and neck pain and in 2014 he was diagnosed with a cervical disc herniation from the fall. On October 21, 2014 he underwent a cervical fusion. As usual, the attorneys hired by the insurance companies for the Defendants disputed that this was caused by the fall five years earlier.
A complaint was filed on behalf of the injured worker by Gerald H. Clark, Esq. of the Clark Law Firm, PC in Belmar, New Jersey in January, 2011 in Essex County Superior Court. After fighting the insurance companies for several years on behalf of his client, Clark secured a $1 million settlement for the worker.
Poorly run construction projects pose a danger to anyone that comes near them. By holding accountable the contractor who chose to not follow basic work safety rules including from OSHA, the community is made safer.