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ARTICLE ID 8241

$________ Slip and fall at construction site - Failure to provide safe work area - Bulging disc injury - Apportionment of fault to employer.

San Francisco County, California

The plaintiff elevator constructor injures lower back when he slipped and fell on a poorly constructed ramp at a construction site while carrying a ________ pound elevator door. The plaintiff p 7 3 contended that the defendant provided the ramp and negligently exercised control over the project with regard to providing the ramp and safe access to the work site. The plaintiff further contended that the ramp was defective and dangerous as provided by the defendant.

The plaintiff was a 52-year-old male elevator constructor at the time of this incident. On February 7, ________, he was working at the B.A.R.T. expansion project at the San Francisco Airport. The defendant was the general contractor at the construction site.

The plaintiff testified he was carrying a ________ pound elevator door when he lost his balance on a construction ramp. The ramp was constructed of several 2 x 10 pieces of wood with wooden palettes on top of them and sheets of plywood on top of the palettes. The ramp would bow and flex when walked upon. The plaintiff presented evidence that there were complaints made to the general contractor by various workers on the site prior to the plaintiff’s fall and injuries. The plaintiff maintained that the defendant told workers that they would have to live with it. As the plaintiff was carrying the heavy door over the ramp, the ramp bowed and flexed under his weight, causing him to lose his balance and step off the ramp to steady himself, twisting his back.

The plaintiff suffered a bugling disc in his lower back at the L4-L5 level. Plaintiff contended that he was unable to return to his job as an elevator constructor as a result of the injury and was unable to effectively participate in vocational rehabilitation.

The defendant asserted that it did not provide the ramp and it was not required to provide a ramp as part of its responsibilities. Defendant contended that the plaintiff’s employer was required to provide a ramp as part of the means and methods of transporting its equipment to perform its elevator construction work. Furthermore, the defendant contended that the plaintiff’s injuries were due to degenerative disc disease in the plaintiff’s lower back which the defendant alleged was a preexisting condition.

The plaintiff had demanded $________ and the defendant offered $________. The trial lasted five weeks and the deliberations lasted two days. The jury returned a gross verdict of $________ broken down as follows: $________ for economic damages; and $________ for non-economic damages. As to liability, the jury found the defendant 87.5% responsible for plaintiff’s injuries and the plaintiff’s employer 12.5% responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries. The verdict was reduced by $________ for a workers’ compensation lien, leaving a net verdict to the plaintiff of $________.

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