Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Trench Collapse Leads to $1.12 Million Verdict

There are so many way to injure or kill yourself in the construction injury.  This is the reason why we have a lot of regulations that control what contractors need to do regarding safety of their employees.  For example, there are regulations and safety standards when digging trenches.  Depending on the size of the trench, if there is a collaspe, a worker could be bured alive and either killed or seriously injured.  See the following case for an example:

A 100-pound mound of dirt collapsed onto Plaintiff while he was installing a 12-inch water pipe into a trench. The impact crushed Plaintiff’s left ankle, causing fractures and torn tendons and ligaments. Plaintiff also suffered a lumbar-disc herniation and radiculopathy. Consequently, Plaintiff underwent multiple debridement procedures, physical therapy, epidural injections, a lumbar fusion, a laminectomy and surgical repair of the tendons. According to Plaintiff’s experts, Plaintiff is considered permanently disabled and can no longer perform physical labor. Plaintiff also claims he needs counseling for psychiatric issues associated with the trench collapse, including major depressive disorder.

At the time of the incident, contractor Miniscalco Construction, LLC (Miniscalco) had been hired by Aqua Pennsylvania Inc. (Aqua) to supervise Plaintiff’s work. According to a U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) expert, Aqua discovered that the trench was not in compliance with OSHA regulations, which required shoring to brace the walls of trenches over five feet deep. Aqua ordered Miniscalco to shore the trench wall, which Miniscalco did. Nevertheless, the OSHA expert testified that Miniscalco did not continue to enforce the OSHA regulations to ensure the walls were properly shored and braced thereafter.


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Work Injury

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Work Injury