Andrew G. Finkelstein, managing partner, and firm partner Kenneth Fromson, obtained a settlement of $12,750,000 for our injured client on the day the jury was to be selected. Our client, a 49 year old truck driver for a retail auto supply store, sustained broken bones in both feet when he stepped off an unprotected edge and fell 10 feet to the warehouse floor while making a delivery.
As a result of the store being built into the side of a hill, the warehouse, at the rear of the store, is located 10 feet below grade. When making deliveries trucks park against the delivery dock door and the drivers utilize a vertical lift to access the warehouse floor 10 feet below. The elevator-like lift has a safety gate that may only be opened at delivery dock level in order to protect workers from falling. Tragically, the store is known to disable and even remove the safety gate to speed up deliveries - as was the case when our client stepped off the unprotected edge when neither the lift nor the protective safety gate were in place at loading dock level.
"Workers have the right to expect a safe work environment," said Finkelstein. "Unfortunately, when that right is violated and conditions are unsafe people get hurt and their lives can be changed forever. When that happens, we strive to hold employers accountable and fight for the rights of our clients."
The resulting broken bones from the fall to the warehouse floor required surgery. Following surgery, the worker developed gangrene in one foot which ultimately required an amputation below the knee. Today he uses a prosthetic device and faces additional surgery on his surviving foot.
"Our client did not expect to have his life permanently altered by an unsafe work place when he went to work that day," said Fromson. "We helped him navigate the complex legal system and held the auto supply store accountable when they failed to uphold a safe work place for all employees."
The retailer settled for $12,750,000 at jury selection, avoiding taking the case to court.