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Verdict Search New England
Worker/Workplace Negligence
Lack of safe access to roof led to fall

The plaintiff, a laborer, was working for a roofing contractor, was directed to use a roof hatch to access the roof. The laborer was attempting to access the building’s roof through the hatch when he fell landed straddling a metal stairway railing. He suffered pelvic fractures, a penile injury and lumbar disc herniation.

The plaintiff alleged the accident occurred as the result of the defendant’s failure to provide safe access to the roof.

Court: Suffolk Superior Court
Amount: $1.892 million
Date: August 2016
Attorney: Patricia J. Rezendes, Cathryn L. Crowley, Rezendes Law Group, Quincy (for the plaintiff)


Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

Untrained worker is hurt while disassembling crane
Published: 3:26 pm Fri, July 29, 2011
By Mass. Lawyers Weekly Staff

The plaintiff, a heavy equipment operator, was instructed to assist in the disassembly of a mobile crane, a job for which he was untrained and had no experience.

The plaintiff was given the task of removing four pins that connected the boom to the heel of the crane. When he removed the last of the pins, the boom fell and struck him. He sustained crush fractures of his left leg with massive bone, tissue and muscle loss and a right femur fracture.

The plaintiff required extensive hospitalization for his injuries and incurred medical bills of $313,000. He made an excellent recovery following five years of disability, during which time his lost wages amounted to $385,000.

The plaintiff alleged the accident occurred as a result of the defendant’s failure to provide instruction or training to the disassembly crew, to conduct a proper job hazard analysis relative to the task, and to comply with applicable manufacturer recommendations.

Action: Negligence & tort
Injuries alleged: Multiple leg fractures with bone, tissue and muscle loss
Case name: Withheld
Court/case no.: Withheld
Jury and/or judge: N/A (settled)
Amount: $1.9 million
Date: February 2011
Attorney: Michael R. Rezendes, Rezendes Law Group, Quincy (for the plaintiff)


Construction worker falls after scaffolding collapse – $600,000 settlement
Published: 1:00 am Mon, March 22, 2010
By admin

The plaintiff was installing siding from a scaffold for a subcontractor at a residential construction project.

The scaffold's planking and platform were erected without bracing or support beneath overlapping planks, creating a condition known in the industry as a "trap." The lack of support resulted in the overlapping planks giving way beneath the plaintiff, causing him to fall approximately 10 feet.

The plaintiff's cervical injuries required cervical laminectomy, physical therapy, work strengthening and chiropractic care.

The plaintiff alleged that the accident was caused by the failure of the general contractor to carry out construction operations in compliance with minimum OSHA standards, failure to initiate a site specific safety plan, and failure to have a safety superintendent on site to supervise and monitor construction operations at the project.

Type of action: Negligence & tort
Injuries alleged: Disc herniation, wrist fractures, scapular injury
Name of case:
Withheld
Court/case no.: Essex Superior Court (no. withheld)
Tried before judge or jury: N/A (settled)
Amount of settlement: $600,000
Date: Sept. 1, 2009
Attorney: Michael R. Rezendes, Rezendes Law Group, Quincy (for the plaintiff)


Carpenter tumbles from high ledge, severs aorta; On disability for years; makes good recovery – $1.83 million settlement
Published: 1:00 am Mon, November 9, 2009
By admin

On Sept. 23, 2004, the plaintiff was working as a carpenter on a construction project on which the defendant was the general contractor.

The plaintiff and one of his co-workers were directed to remove a window from the fourth floor of the building, which was under construction. He accessed the window by use of a manlift and climbed out onto a 2-foot-wide ledge located beneath the window. The plaintiff was working without a harness or other fall protection.

While removing the window, the plaintiff lost his footing and fell approximately 40 feet to the ground. He landed on rubble and debris that punctured his chest and lacerated his aorta. He sustained a pneumothorax and multiple pelvic and facial fractures.

The plaintiff alleged that the accident occurred as a result of the defendant's failure to provide fall protection, failure to conduct a proper job hazard analysis relative to the task, and failure to comply with applicable construction safety regulations, including those contained within OSHA guidelines.

The plaintiff underwent extensive hospitalization for his injuries and, following five years of disability, made an excellent recovery.

Type of action: Negligence & tort
Injuries alleged: Laceration of aorta, pneumothorax, multiple fractures
Name of case: Withheld
Court/case no.: Suffolk Superior Court (no. withheld)
Tried before judge or jury: N/A (settled)
Amount of settlement: $1.83 million
Date: August 2009
Attorney: Michael R. Rezendes, Rezendes & Trezise, Quincy (for the plaintiff)


Apprentice crushed by mechanical lift; Results in fractures, closed head injury – $4.6 million settlement
Published: 1:00 am Mon, August 3, 2009
By admin

On Aug. 20, 2004, the plaintiff was working as an electrician's apprentice at a construction project in East Boston. Electricians at the project were in the process of attaching electrical cable to the exterior wall of a subway car house. The plaintiff and a co-worker were using a scissor lift to perform the elevated work when the lift was pulled over by the weight of the cable.

The plaintiff alleged that the accident occurred as a result of the failure of the owner and general contractor to initiate proper pre-task planning, including completion of a job hazard analysis prior to the plaintiff's work.

The plaintiff further alleged that the defendants failed to provide adequate supervision and training at the construction project and claimed there was negligence and breach of warranty by the lessor of the scissor lift and its manufacturer in failing to provide warnings and/or proper training.

The plaintiff sustained a closed head injury, bilateral femur fractures, a left acetabular fracture, multiple facial fractures, teeth avulsions, partial vision loss in his right eye and scarring. He claimed that he was rendered totally and permanently disabled as a result of his injuries.

Type of action: Negligence & tort
Injuries alleged: Closed head injury, multiple trauma
Name of case: Courtney v. MBTA, et al.
Court/case no.: Suffolk Superior Court, No. 05-2388-B
Tried before judge or jury: N/A (settled)
Amount of settlement: $4.6 million
Date: April 2009
Attorney: Michael R. Rezendes, Rezendes & Trezise, Quincy (for the plaintiff)


Construction worker crushed in craneway collapse – Structure compromised in haste to acquire scrap
Published: 1:00 am Mon, September 15, 2008
By admin
$4 million settlement

This was a wrongful death action arising out of the Jan. 26, 2005, collapse of portions of a craneway that caused the death of the 44-year-old plaintiff's decedent.

The defendants, the general contractor and the landowner, contracted for the demolition of a unique 180-foot steel craneway that spanned three bays on the property. As part of the contract, the general contractor acquired the right to sell the several thousand tons of scrap steel generated by the demolition of the craneway.

In mid-January 2005, the owner of the general contractor informed an explosive demolition subcontractor that the general contractor planned to mechanically demolish portions of the craneway so as to "get steel on the ground," presumably due to the fact that the price of scrap steel had reached an all-time high in December 2004 but had fallen rapidly in January 2005.

Despite warnings from the subcontractor about the dangerousness of a mechanical takedown of the craneway and in an apparent attempt to avoid any further drops in the price of scrap steel, the owner and members of the general contractor's management proceeded with their plan.

In violation of demolition regulations and standards of OSHA, ANSI and the National Demolition Association, the general contractor failed to conduct an engineering survey to determine whether portions of the craneway could be taken down safely by mechanical means and also failed to establish a written demolition plan. Torch-burners for the general contractor made numerous cuts through the craneway, leaving portions of it as free-standing structures. The general contractor left the cut portions of the craneway standing for approximately a week before the collapse.

On the morning of Jan. 26, 2005, the cut portions of the craneway collapsed and fell onto an adjacent building, completely crushing the western portion of the building, killing two men, including the plaintiff's decedent, and causing severe injuries to several other workers. The plaintiff's decedent died instantaneously. An OSHA investigation found numerous violations of applicable codes on the part of the general contractor.

The decedent, who was working for an asbestos-removal subcontractor at the time of his death, earned approximately $30,000 a year. His wife, from his second marriage, saw her husband only on weekends during the periods he worked because she lived apart from him in New York. All four of his children, living in Ecuador at the time of his death, had not seen their father for several years before the accident.

The administratrix brought claims for all heirs at law. The plaintiff retained an expert in demolition and intended to allege gross negligence on the part of the defendants at the time of trial. The case settled following two days of mediation.

Type of action: Negligence & tort
Injuries alleged: Wrongful death
Name of case: Withheld
Court/case no.: Middlesex Superior Court, no. withheld
Tried before judge or jury: N/A­ (settled)
Amount of settlement: $4 million


Truck driver knocked down, injured when tractor trailer hits him
Published: 1:00 am Mon, January 14, 2008
By admin
$1 million settlement


The plaintiff, a 38-year-old commercial truck driver, was standing outside his truck at a loading dock in New Jersey talking to another driver when he was knocked down and run over by a tractor trailer.

The plaintiff sustained fractures of the coccyx, lumbar spine, left talus, right ulnar and right radius. He underwent 18 months of treatment and incurred $30,000 in medical bills.

Type of action: Motor vehicle negligence
Injuries alleged: Multiple fractures
Name of case: Withheld
Court/case no.: Withheld
Tried before judge or jury: N/A (settled)
Amount of settlement: $1 million
Date: Sept. 15, 2006
Attorney: Michael R. Rezendes, Rezendes & Trezise, Quincy (for the plaintiff)


Ironworker falls 12 feet, lands on his co-worker; Plaintiff: platform exposed to elements – $500,000 settlement
Published: 1:00 am Mon, October 26, 2009
By admin


The plaintiff, 60, was working as a union ironworker at a high-rise construction project in Quincy. Workers were required to use a ladder and wooden platform, which were exposed to the winter elements, to access the upper floors of the project.

As the plaintiff waited at the bottom of the ladder, a co-worker fell approximately 12 feet from the platform and landed on him.

The plaintiff alleged that the accident was caused by the failure of the owner and the general contractor to initiate proper pre-task planning by providing safe and proper means of access to elevated working surfaces. He argued that, because the ladder was continuously exposed to winter elements, an unreasonably dangerous access way was created.

The plaintiff claimed injuries to his cervical spine, including aggravation of cervical spondylosis, middle ear trauma and lumbar spine injury. His cervical injuries required a series of nerve blocks, physical therapy and cervical facetectomy. He alleged that he was rendered permanently disabled as a result of his injuries.
Type of action: Negligence & tort

Injuries alleged: Cervical injury with neurological deficits, low back injury, middle ear injury
Name of case: Withheld
Court/case no.: Suffolk Superior Court (no. withheld)
Tried before judge or jury: N/A (settled)
Amount of settlement: $500,000
Date: March 17, 2009
Attorney: Michael R. Rezendes, Rezendes & Trezise, Quincy (for the plaintiff)