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ARTICLE ID 31571

$________ - WORKSITE ACCIDENT - PLAINTIFF CONSTRUCTION WORKER FALLS INTO HOLE WHILE ATTEMPTING TO MOVE LARGE OBJECT ON CONSTRUCTION SITE WHERE HE WAS ASSIGNED TO WORK - PLAINTIFF ALLEGES DEFENDANT CONSTRUCTION MANAGER IS LIABLE FOR HIS INJURY - INTERNAL DERANGEMENT OF KNEE - THREE ARTHROSCOPIC SURGERIES - PERMANENT INJURY ALLEGED.

Hillsborough County, N.H.

This action arose out of a worksite accident involving a male plaintiff construction worker, in his early 40’s, who sustained a permanent injury to his knee when he stepped into a large hole while working on a renovation project. The plaintiff brought suit against the defendant construction manager retained by the developer to hire specialty contractors and oversee work on the project.

The plaintiff was working as a drywall installer in a building under renovation located in Exeter, N.H. At the time of the accident, the plaintiff was working on the ground level of the building in an area which was designated to be the underground parking area for tenants occupying space on the upper floor levels. The concrete floor had been poured and a sump hole was created to allow for run-off. As part of the construction, the sump hole was covered with a large ________ pound electrical wire spool.

The plaintiff testified that there was no written warning or oral instruction to alert him that the electrical wire spool was, in fact, covering a sump hole. The plaintiff, in order to facilitate his own work, proceeded to move the electrical wire spool, believing that it was simply sitting in the middle of the floor. As the plaintiff tilted up the spool, he stepped forward and his foot fell into the sump hole, causing him to lose his balance. The large spool fell onto his leg, causing injury to his knee.

The plaintiff contended that the defendant construction manager was negligent in failing to properly safeguard the area where the plaintiff was working. The plaintiff alleged that the failure to properly barricade and warn of the existence of the open hole constituted violation of applicable OSHA regulations and industry standards.

The defendant construction manager denied negligence and specifically contended that a warning had been placed on the electrical wire spool, alerting workers not to move it. The defendant called the on-site supervisor who specifically maintained that he painted a bright orange warning label on the top of the spool. The plaintiff countered with a blow-up of a photograph of the spool taken shortly following the accident. The photo showed no such warning label. The defendant additionally claimed that the plaintiff was comparatively negligent in attempting to move the large and cumbersome spool without asking for assistance.

The medical evidence indicated that the plaintiff sustained internal derangement of the knee requiring three arthroscopic surgeries and resulting in a permanent impairment which prevented his return to work in the same construction trade. The plaintiff returned to school and re-trained himself in the area of interior design. The plaintiff claimed lost income and lost earning capacity as a result of the injury suffered. Medical specials approximated $________.

The jury found the defendant ________% negligent and returned a verdict in the amount of $________. With interest, the judgment totaled $________.

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