Articles Posted in Construction Accidents

In the recent case of DiCarlo v. Suffolk Construction Co., the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts was asked to consider two companion cases involving job-related injuries that involved similar issues.

The first case involved an electrician who injured his back on a job site. The employer’s workers’ compensation carrier provided benefits to compensate the man for his medical bills and missed paychecks, which amounted to roughly $282,000. The injured worker also brought a negligence action against the owner of the construction site and the job manager. Both of these defendants filed third-party indemnification actions against a subcontractor involved with the job. The parties reached a tentative settlement, but the lower court denied approval of the settlement. According to the lower court, the settlement’s allotment of 35 percent of the amount to the worker’s pain and suffering was incorrect and would prevent the insurance carrier’s lien from attaching to the portion of fees allotted as pain and suffering damages. The parties appealed, and the appellate court reversed the lower court’s holding.

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It was a tragic, life-changing moment.

My client was young, healthy and earning a living working for a Cape Cod-based construction company. While working at a private home along Bass River, a concrete boom and hose swung and struck his head. The boom was attached to a concrete truck whose footings sank into the ground above a septic tank, thereby causing the boom to swing into our client.

An ambulance transported the young man to Cape Cod Hospital and afterwards he was med-flighted to Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He suffered significant facial injuries including multiple fractures and facial disfigurement. My client has undergone numerous surgeries since the accident including lengthy hospital stays, and is left with permanent conditions that unfortunately will significantly impact his future.

In this case, we alleged that the defendant was negligent in failing to ascertain the location of the septic tank upon the premises before beginning to pump the concrete. And we claimed the contractor was negligent in its failure to exercise that degree of control and supervision over the construction work being done upon the premises, with reasonable care for the safety of others.

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