Case Involving Man Falling Into 10 Foot Trench Settled
We recently settled a case for a man who wasinjured in a construction accident. Check out the news report video of the accident: http://fox13now.com/2014/01/05/crews-pull-man-from-10-foot-trench./
It is an astounding story. A restaurant hired a contractor to fix a plumbing problem. This required the contractor to dig a 10 foot hole at the front door of the restaurant to access the sewer line. There was no other door for customers to use to enter the restaurant. The restaurant opened for business anyway. It planned to have customers enter the restaurant through a neighboring restaurant with a different name. At the end of the day, the contractor covered the hole with plywood and left the site. He went to the store to get some additional wood to stabilize the plywood. He put up some “CAUTION” tape around the site. There are differing accounts about how much tape he put up. The injured man’s wife called the restaurant and ordered take out. The man went to pick up the food. He did not know he was supposed to enter through the neighboring restaurant. He saw there was a neon “OPEN” sign above the front door. He could not see the hole because it was covered with plywood. He assumed the plywood was a wooden ramp that you sometimes see at construction sites. No one told the man or his wife about the hole or to enter through the restaurant next door. He walked up to the front door and the plywood collapsed. He fell to the bottom and was seriously hurt. He landed in stinky sewer water. He laid there calling for help. Eventually, someone called 911 and the man was rescued.
We handle a lot of construction accident cases. They often involve very serious injuries. Construction sites can be very dangerous when proper precautions are not taken. They can put pedestrians in danger, like in the case described above. However, dangerous construction sites also endanger construction workers. Sometimes construction workers get hurt so seriously that they cannot do construction work anymore. This presents a life changing problem to the construction worker, especially if that is all they have ever done.
There are strict codes and standards related to construction work that contractors and businesses have to follow. The purpose of these is to protect people. Part of doing a construction case is analyzing the standards to see exactly what was violated. We sometimes see astounding violations that occur.