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ARTICLE ID 193757

$________ – Plaintiff HVAC technician installing duct work in attic falls 12 feet when joist fails – Compound fracture of calcaneus – Surgery with surgical hardware installation – Plaintiff also suffers tear of non-dominant rotator cuff and compression lumbar fracture – Inability to continue as HVAC technician

Hudson County, NJ

In this case, the plaintiff, a 51-year-old HVAC technician, who was installing duct work in the attic of a carriage house that was being transformed into a luxury restaurant, contended that as he was working with one foot on each of two joists, one of the joists failed, and that he fell some 12 feet.

The joist had recently been installed by a carpentry subcontractor, and the plaintiff contended that this defendant negligently failed to adequately secure the work with joist hangers, using inadequate ten penny nails. The plaintiff also named the company who was the alleged general contractor, maintaining that it should have supplied a secure platform in the attic, obviating the need for various trades to work while moving from joist to joist. This defendant denied that it was the general contractor, and contended that it was hired by the defendant owner in a consulting capacity only.

The plaintiff countered that permits were taken out by this entify, who identified itself as the G.C. This defendant countered that, in reality, it had not obtained any subcontractors who were hired by the owner. The alleged, G.C., maintained that by using this arrangement, the owner could avoid the necessity of hiring Union carpenters, which the alleged, G.C. had agreed to do.

The plaintiff suffered an open fracture of the calcaneus and required an open reduction and internal fixation. The plaintiff also suffered a lumbar fracture that was treated with a body brace for approximately six weeks, and a rotator cuff tear on the left, non-dominant side. This injury was treated conservatively as well. The plaintiff maintained that he will suffer permanent pain and difficulties, and supported that he can no longer work as an HVAC technician, and works as a gas station attendant.

The plaintiff’s vocational expert discussed approximately $________ in income loss. The defense would have presented an economist who would have indicated that the loss approximates $________. The case settled prior to trial for approximately $________, including $________ from the alleged G.C., $________ from the framing subcontractor, and $________ from the employer, under a contractual indemnification agreement with the owner.

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