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ARTICLE ID 199391

$________ – CONSTRUCTION SITE NEGLIGENCE – FALL PROTECTION – PLAINTIFF FALLS APPROXIMATELY 20 FEET FROM LADDER – SKULL FRACTURE – SUBDURAL HEMATOMA – CRANIOTOMY – MILD TBI – MANDIBLE AND RIB FRACTURES – RELATIVELY SLIGHT COGNITIVE AND IMPULSE CONTROL ISSUES – BILATERAL WRIST INJURIES.

Ocean County, NJ

In this construction site negligence action, the plaintiff laborer contended that the defendant general contractor at a construction site failed to provide any fall protection for the plaintiff, who was directed to carry plywood sheets up a ladder and attach the plywood to the frame while working on the ladder. The plaintiff asserted that as a result, he fell some 20 feet, suffering a skull fracture, subdural hematoma, mild TBI, as well as fractures to the mandible, bilateral wrist, and several ribs.

The plaintiff’s OSHA expert would have related that the defendant general contractor had a non-delegable duty to provide fall protection. The plaintiff would have also argued that the failure of the defendant to provide any protection was especially egregious in view of the cumbersome nature of the work, entailing a worker carrying a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood up the ladder and then attaching it.

The employer, who was named a third party defendant under a contractual indemnification agreement, testified that the incident occurred as the plaintiff was attempting to "hop" with the ladder, or move it to the next location without the need to climb back down and move it. The defendant claimed that in view of this evidence, the plaintiff was clearly comparatively negligent. The plaintiff would have presented a coworker who also indicated that he saw the incident occur. The plaintiff’s witness would have denied that the plaintiff was attempting to move the ladder to the next location as claimed by the employer. The plaintiff was hospitalized from the date of the April 14 incident until May 3. He was then transferred to a rehabilitation hospital until June 3.

The plaintiff’s examining neurologist would have testified that the plaintiff underwent a craniotomy, and that as a result of the skull fracture and subdural hematoma, he was left with a mild TBI manifesting in relatively slight deficits in concentration and short-term memory. The expert would have testified that the injuries are permanent in nature. The deficits would not be readily apparent to anyone who met the plaintiff casually.

The physician also related that the plaintiff required surgery for the mandible fracture and will suffer some permanent pain and slight scarring. The plaintiff further contended that the pain and limitation from the bilateral wrist injuries will remain permanently. The rib fractures substantially resolved. The plaintiff made no income claims.

The case settled prior to trial for the defendant general contractor’s $________ policy, $________ from the third party defendant, and a waiver of the future permanency award lien by the comp carrier.

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