$645,000 Settlement for Construction Accident Wrongful Death

Blume Donnelly Partner, David M. Fried, represented the estate and family of a man who worked for a company hired to repair and replace roofs on condominiums in Woodbridge, New Jersey. On the day of the accident, the decedent and a co-worker were performing finishing touches to overhangs on a building that was at the rear of the condo complex. There were overhead electric wires in close proximity to this building. The decedent and his co-worker were moving an extension ladder, without lowering it, when a strong gust of wind blew, causing the ladder to come in contact with the bare overhead wires. As a result, the decedent, who was still holding the ladder, was electrocuted and died.

The contractors involved in the job knew or should have known there were energized overhead wires in close proximity to where work was to be performed by employees and/or subcontractors, but never warned the subcontractors or its employees of the wires, or the danger of moving an extension ladder without lowering it in close proximity to wires, on a windy day.

Although the man was not married, his fiance was pregnant with their child, who was subsequently born approximately 6 months following his death. The decedent was an undocumented alien, and no future wage loss claim was pursued. However, a loss of parental services formed the basis of the claim.

The case was settled following mediation; and a structured settlement will pay out over $650,000 to the surviving child.