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ARTICLE ID 13669

$________ Failure to provide a safe workplace - Plaintiff certified coatings inspector injured during course of employment - Failure to provide safe access to handwash facility - Negligent placement of handwash facility in back of flatbed truck with no safe means of access - Lumbar disc herniation - Surgery - Permanent impairment.

U.S. District Court, Boston, Mass.

The plaintiff in this action was a certified coatings inspector who contended that he was injured during the course of his employment while working on a project which involved removal of lead paint from a steel bridge. The plaintiff suffered multiple injuries as an alleged result of the defendant’s failure to provide a safe workplace for the benefit of those working on the site.

The subject accident occurred on May 20, ________. The plaintiff was on the jobsite attempting to reach the only handwash facility on the project, which was located at the back of a flatbed truck. The plaintiff was climbing onto the back of the flatbed truck which had no safe means of access, according to the plaintiff’s claims. The flatbed truck and handwash facility were owned by the defendant contractor.

The plaintiff intended to prove that he placed his foot on a trailer hitch and put his hands in the slots which were used to fasten a tailgate in place. The plaintiff related that as he did this, his right foot slipped off the hitch. He pulled his hands quickly out of the slots and then allegedly fell backwards, landing hard on his right buttock.

The plaintiff contended that the defendant was obligated to provide safe workplace, which included providing workplace personnel with an accessible handwash facility. The plaintiff intended to demonstrate that the defendant was negligent in placing the handwash facility at the back of a flatbed truck without also providing a ladder or steps to facilitate safe access.

The plaintiff was diagnosed with a large L-4,5 herniation with severe left leg radiculopathy. A left L-4,5 laminotomy and discectomy followed.

The plaintiff claimed a 10% whole person impairment and a 24% left lower extremity impairment, by AMA impairment rating criteria. Special damages were as follows: $________ medicals and $________ lost wages.

The defendant denied liability with respect to the plaintiff’s assertions, and maintained that the plaintiff caused and/or contributed to the injuries by attempting to climb onto the flatbed truck in a manner which he knew or should have known was dangerous.

The case was mediated on November 1, ________. Subsequent compromise of the workers’ compensation lien (from $________ to $________) and further negotiation resulted in a settlement on December 1, ________. The parties agreed to settlement of $________.

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