As the operator of a large piece of construction equipment sat down in the cab, he unintentionally moved the joystick control, causing the boom to swing uncontrollably and knock a piece of equipment onto a young man standing nearby. The innocent bystander became a quadriplegic. The Raynes team of Roy DeCaro, Dan Bencivenga and Marty Brigham, established that the excavator manufacturer’s design violated international safety standards, ignored safety alerts from its country’s OSHA, and lacked a commercially available alternate design that would have prevented the injury. After jury selection had been completed, the defendants settled for $24,000,000.
Lucent Technology’s electricians certified to a crew of outside contractors that it was safe to enter a “de-energized” piece of electrical equipment. The assurance was false, the equipment had 12,470 volts flowing through it, and one of the contractor employees suffered severe electrical burns. The non-confidential portion of the settlement exceeded $10,000,000.
A sophisticated industrial property owner in Philadelphia designed the electrical wiring for its facility. When an outside contractor attempted to refit the wiring, he was severely burned in an electrical arc explosion. Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer was able to secure an $8 million settlement for the burn survivor.
A 34-year old worker at a Chinese Food warehouse tragically fell to his death when he entered an elevator without realizing that the elevator car was not there.
The elevator service company responsible for servicing the elevator had been declared unsafe by the Department of Labor and Industry but discovery revealed that the service company illegally unsealed it and put the elevator back in service. Mr. LeWinter was lead trial counsel for the family of Jin Mian Jin. Read More
Jay Hawthorne, a 27-year old ironworker was rendered a quadriplegic when he fell 14 feet while attempting to install metal decking on a rooftop.
The construction management company responsible for the worksite had experienced a similar accident 4 years earlier and ignored the advice of its own independent safety consultant that stricter fall protection was needed if future accidents were to be prevented. It was learned that the same consultant warned the management company of safety problems and needed changes just 30 days before Jay was catastrophically injured but no action was taken. Mark J. LeWinter’s role as lead trial counsel for Mr. Hawthorne was featured as a Spotlight Case in the ATLA Law Reporter. Read More
A masonry crew in Central Pennsylvania was using a crank-up scaffold to erect a concrete block wall, with the scaffold being raised as the wall went up. In violation of safety standards, an extension ladder was being raised with the scaffold to provide access to the work platform. From the platform, the workers couldn’t see if the ladder’s safety latches were engaged. When a mason stepped onto the ladder, it collapsed and he fell to the ground, resulting in permanent disability. Mark LeWinter documented that this unsafe condition should have been corrected by the construction manager and secured a settlement of $8,500,000 that ensures the worker’s financial future.
Jim worked in a steel distribution warehouse, operating a specially designed forklift that was supposed to be guided down the narrow aisle by rails. Late one evening, co-workers heard Jim’s scream. Running to his aid, they found his head pinned between the side of the forklift and the end of a shelf support. Unfortunately, Jim’s brain damage was permanent. Thorough investigation revealed both that the forklift repair company had put the operator controls in backwards and that the warehouse designer had improperly spaced the guide rails. Using a videotape settlement brochure to demonstrate how the case would be presented at trial, Marty Brigham led the legal team that achieved a $7.2 million settlement for Jim.
A Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer team led by Marty Brigham secured this confidential settlement for a migrant worker who was badly burned when he came into contact with an energized power line while he was painting a barn. Safety compliance for power lines is evaluated by he standards that are in effect when the lines are put in place. These power lines complied with the standards when they were installed, however, the standards had been recently updated. Mr. Brigham was able to discover that a few months before the accident, the utility company had moved its lines, which were to close to the barn. A videotape settlement brochure powerfully presented the case, prompting an early mediation and resolution.