$750,000 Settlement for Construction Accident / Wrongful Death

Blume Donnelly partner David M. Fried represented the estate of a man who was killed when working for a subcontractor at a construction site where large concrete pipes were being installed in a trench. Another worker using a crane was moving a 1,000-pound section of concrete pipe to the trench, when the decedent re-entered the trench to dig out some additional dirt, causing the crane operator to quickly shift the crane’s position. The change in the crane’s position caused the pipe to slip from the crane, landing on the decedent, resulting in his death. Through investigation, David discovered that the crane operator was using an improper device to hold the pipe. The decedent was in the country without proper documentation at the time he was killed, and he left a wife in Guatemala, together with two children over the age of 18 and one minor child.

This case included complex legal and damage issues, including whether the worker’s compensation laws would bar or eliminate the claim against the crane operator as a co-employee, and, difficulty in establishing the decedent’s history of gainful employment (affecting wage loss claims). Despite these difficulties, David Fried was successful in obtaining a $750,000 settlement.