A recent Los Angeles jury verdict illustrates the different possibilities for compensation when a worker is injured or killed on the job due to negligence.
Panel Collapses on Worker
In 2011, a 30-year-old worker at a Playa Del Ray construction project was standing atop a 30-foot concrete wall form panel. When the panel collapsed, he suffered fatal head trauma as it fell on him.
The attorney for the man’s wife and two children sued the crane operator involved in positioning the panel, and that case was settled for $650,000.
$27 Million Award
The family also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the designer and supplier of the concrete wall-form panel. On Wednesday, July 27, a jury voted unanimously to award the family a total of $27 million, including $3.5 million in economic damages and $23.5 million in non-economic damages. The jury arrived at these figures after calculating the company’s share of negligence at 55 percent. The jury apportioned the remaining 45 percent to the city of Los Angeles and a project contractor.
After the jury rendered its verdict, the family’s attorney suggested the fatal event could have been avoided if an engineer for the design and supply firm had properly reviewed project plans to better understand the conditions at the construction site.
During the trial, the victim’s wife told the jury how her husband was a gentle individual who enjoyed staying home with his family. He also coached his son’s soccer team, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Although state workers compensation laws specify monies to be paid to survivors following a fatal work accident, survivors often sue for more substantial compensation under state personal injury laws when negligence is claimed.
If you or a family member is a victim of a work accident, it is possible to speak with an attorney about the matter free of charge. Our firm fights hard to get our clients every dollar that they are entitled to under various applicable laws. To learn more about our legal services, please contact us.