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Allegheny County

This action was brought by a 41-year-old male plaintiff who maintained that he was hired to performing roofing repair work on a commercial building located in York. The plaintiff contended that the defendant contractor contacted a temp agency providing temporary laborers. The plaintiff asserted that he was classified as a construction laborer with the agency. The plaintiff claimed that he was at the job site removing insulation debris from one section of the roof to another section when an employee of the defendant, operating a motorized cart utilized in transporting debris, struck the plaintiff in the left knee. The plaintiff contended that he suffered contusions and a fractured patella.

The plaintiff’s injury necessitated three surgeries. The plaintiff underwent arthroscopic surgery and subsequent surgery for the removal of the patella. The plaintiff also required extensive physical therapy. The plaintiff argued that he sustained a 60% to 70% loss of strength in his knee.

The plaintiff argued his services were provided through a temporary agency and that he arrived at the job site with the necessary skills and training. The plaintiff asserted that he was a temporary worker and not an employee of the defendant and, therefore, was not barred by worker’s compensation. The plaintiff cited Accoutemps vs. Worker’s Compensation Appeal Board ________ A.

2nd ________ (________). The plaintiff claimed that as he was removing insulation, he had turned around and observed the cart coming straight towards him. The plaintiff maintained that he did not have time to avoid the accident. The plaintiff asserted that the operator of the motorized cart was not properly trained in driving the cart. The plaintiff presented testimony from a worker provided by another agency who corroborated the plaintiff’s version of the accident.

The defendant argued that the plaintiff was an employee of the defendant and, therefore, entitled only to worker’s compensation benefits. The defendant cited English vs. Lehigh County Authority ________ A. 2nd ________ (________). The plaintiff countered that the plaintiff in the case cited was provided with training by the defendant and on that basis was determined an employee. The defendant further argued that the plaintiff was not attentive at the job site and was comparatively negligent. The operator of the cart testified that he could not recall how the accident occurred. The defendant presented testimony from another witness to the accident who contended that the plaintiff ran in front of the cart.

The plaintiff’s treating orthopedic surgeon testified that he performed the initial two procedures on the plaintiff’s knee. The initial treating surgeon testified that within a reasonable degree of medical certainty, the plaintiff sustained a fractured patella. The initial treating surgeon further asserted that the plaintiff sustained contusions and developed degenerative changes. The plaintiff’s subsequent treating orthopedic surgeon testified that the plaintiff sustained a fractured patella. The subsequent treating surgeon maintained that it was necessary to remove the patella. The surgeon also testified that a Biodex test indicated that the plaintiff sustained a 60% to 70% loss of knee strength and that the injury disabled the plaintiff from employment in construction work. The surgeon asserted that the plaintiff was limited to sedentary work. He also contended that there was no additional treatment available to the plaintiff. The plaintiff had undergone two years of physical therapy. The plaintiff’s expert actuary testified that although the plaintiff had a sporadic work history, he was a well trained laborer. The actuary based his projections on an average African American of the plaintiff’s age, training and education. The actuary asserted that the plaintiff’s economic losses on this scenario were $________ with retirement at 61.6 years. The actuary also provided a projection based on the $________ per hour wage that the plaintiff was earning on the subject project.

The defendant’s expert orthopedic surgeon testified that the plaintiff did not sustain a fractured patella, but rather, sustained a contusion. The defendant’s expert further asserted that the plaintiff, in fact, suffered from a congenital bipartite patella which would have necessitated removal of the patella regardless of the subject incident. The defendant’s expert also asserted that the plaintiff had a similar condition in the right knee. The expert testified that the plaintiff could benefit from further rehabilitation to improve knee strength. The defendant’s expert was also of the opinion that the plaintiff could return to construction work on a limited basis. The Court determined that the plaintiff was not an employee of the defendant. The jury found the defendant ________% negligent. The jury awarded the plaintiff $________. The plaintiff’s motion for delay damages in the amount of $________ is currently pending. The defendant’s post-trial motions are also pending. Plaintiff’s initial treating orthopedic surgeon: Dr. Herbert Tauberg from Pittsburgh.

Plaintiff’s subsequent treating surgeon: Dr. Peter Cohen from Pittsburgh. Plaintiff’s expert actuary: Paul Halliwell from Pittsburgh. Defendant’s expert orthopedic surgeon: Dr. Roy S.

Temeles from Tarentum. Jemison vs. Dilmore Building Systems. Case no. 89-________; Judge Judith Friedman, 6-7-91. Attorney for plaintiff: William C. King, Jr. of Pittsburgh; Attorney for defendant: William Guthrie of Pittsburgh.

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