$12.7 Million Settlement : Unsafe Working Conditions

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. 

Dear Friends and Clients,

In furtherance of our firm’s culture of commitment to always act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligations while prioritizing health, wellness and safety of all we can.

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to many lives and businesses in our communities, and around the world. We, much like our neighbors and friends, have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also prioritizing the health, wellness and safety of our employees.

Until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our team is still hard at work, many from home, and you may still call, email, live chat or video conference us if you or a loved one is seeking legal assistance. As the first law firm to offer our clients secure online access to their case file more than a decade ago, we have always been believers in using technology to make life easier and information more accessible. In these present times it has been a smooth transition for us to continue to offer our clients the same seamless and thorough service that you deserve and are accustomed to.

This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for our lives, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

Andrew G. Finkelstein and the staff of Finkelstein & Partners, LLP