An ongoing theme on this blog site is the hazards of construction work and the justifiable liability for companies that negligently put workers at risk. Two more significant settlements were reported this week in Massachusetts, resulting from serious accidents at construction sites.
In the first case, an ironworker fell to his death from a scaffolding 65 feet in the air. A piece of structural steel fell from the edge of the roof and dragged the worker down to the ground. Suit was brought against various defendants, including the general contractor and a subcontractor. The Massachusetts wrongful death statute, places a premium on the financial loss that survivors suffer due to negligent death of a loved one. Therefore, cases of construction site deaths often bring major verdicts and settlements. The second case also involved a fall from a construction site. Fortunately, the fall and thus the injuries, though serious, were not catastrophic. The worker, an electrician, fell from a stage and fractured both ankles. He suffered through multiple surgeries as a result. The workers compensation claim against the employer settled for a lump sum of $350,000. A third party action against other parties is still pending. It is easy for salaried workers whose work does not require physical labor to forget how dependent construction workers are on good physical health. The significant awards in construction site negligence cases, are warranted.