. .

Invest in your success.
JVRA helps lawyers win cases by providing critical information you can use to establish precedent, determine demand and win arguments.

ARTICLE ID 191597

$________ – CONSTRUCTION SITE NEGLIGENCE – IMPROPER CRANE LOADING – OPERATOR DROPS LOAD TO PREVENT CRANE FROM TOPPLING IN MUD – BEAM STRIKES STRUCTURE ON WHICH PLAINTIFF IRON WORKER IS STANDING, PROPELLING HIM 28 FEET TO GROUND – SEVERE ANKLE FRACTURE – LUMBAR AND CERVICAL HERNIATIONS AND FUSIONS – INABILITY TO RETURN TO WORK.

Morris County, NJ

This case involved a 53-year-old iron worker in who was on the steel shell and connecting beams that were being lifted to the structure by a crane. The plaintiff contended that the crane did not have the required operational instrument used to measure the weight of the load. The plaintiff also maintained that the general contractor failed to use cinder blocks or similar materials to create a temporary roadway for the crane, resulting in the crane being used over a very muddy terrain. The plaintiff contended that the load was too heavy and that because of this factor and additional instability associated with the muddy ground, the crane began to tip over and the operator dropped the load to prevent it from tipping. A large beam struck the structure on which the plaintiff was standing and he fell some 28 feet, suffering lumbar and cervical herniations that necessitated fusion surgery in both areas and an avulsion fracture to the right malleolus. The plaintiff named the general contractor, the steel subcontractor and the crane operator. The general contractor had a cross-claim against the employer under contractual indemnification. There was no claim that a harness should have been used that would have prevented the fall that occurred when the beam struck the steel shell on which the plaintiff was standing.

The plaintiff maintained that the crane either failed to have an instrument that would accurately measure the load, or that if such instrument was on the crane, it was not functioning properly. The plaintiff contended that because of this factor, the crane operator placed too heavy a load to be carried, rendering the crane unstable. The defendants maintained that the crane was equipped with the appropriate instrumentation. The plaintiff contended that if a properly operating instrument was on the crane, the operator would have weighed the load, not attempt to move an excessively heavy load and the crane operator conceded that the instrument on the crane was not operational.

The plaintiff also contended that in order to provide additional stability, it is essential that a temporary roadway be constructed to enable the crane to avoid being used in muddy ground. The plaintiff contended that the failure of the G.C. to do so increased the instability of the crane, contributing to it beginning to tip over and the operator dropping the load to prevent the crane from toppling. The plaintiff contended that he suffered an avulsion fracture to a malleolus on the right ankle that was treated by way of a closed reduction. The plaintiff maintained that he will suffer permanent pain and difficulties ambulating because of this injury.

The plaintiff further maintained that he suffered cervical and lumbar herniations that were confirmed by MRI. The plaintiff contended that he underwent cervical fusion surgery approximately four months after the incident and that after conservative treatment proved inadequate, he had a lumbar fusion some two years after the fall. The defendants denied that the need for cervical surgery was causally related. The plaintiff contended that he had been able to return to work with only mild symptomatology after previous accidents, and that it was clear that the need for the cervical fusion approximately two years after the incident was causally related to this 28 foot fall. The plaintiff’s vocational expert would have maintained that the plaintiff is precluded from returning to work.The case settled prior to trial for $________. The third party defendant employer, who was named under a theory of contractual indemnification, contributed $________, the general contractor paid $________ and the steel subcontractor contributed $________.

To read the full article, please login to your account or purchase

5 ways to win with JVRA

JVRA gives you jurisdiction-specific, year-round insight into the strategies, arguments and tactics that win. Successful attorneys come to the table prepared and use JVRA to:

  1. Determine if a case is winnable and recovery amounts.
  2. Determine reasonable demand for a case early on.
  3. Support a settlement demand by establishing precedent.
  4. Research trial strategies, tactics and arguments.
  5. Defeat or support post-trial motions through past case histories.

Try JVRA for a day or a month, or sign up for our deluxe Litigation Support Plan and put the intelligence of JVRA to work for all of your clients. See our subscription plans.