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.
Mr. Urena was forced by his employer to work as a roofer without fall protection. When he fell and suffered partial paralysis, he turned to Mark LeWinter to hold the contractor that hired Mr. Urena’s employer responsible for failing to enforce work-site safety. A Wilmington, Delaware jury agreed with Mr. LeWinter and awarded a $14,000,000 verdict. Read More
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.
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.
Milling machines are used to grind off the top layer of a road prior to re-paving. Because of its size, it is difficult for the operator to see everything in the path of the machine unless the machine is designed to have effectively positioned mirrors. A milling machine operator couldn’t see a co-worker, John, who was in a blind spot. Tragically, John was literally ground to death. Martina McLaughlin conducted extensive research and discovered evidence that the defendant had formulated–years before John’s death–visibility specifications and had tested mirrors that would have provided visibility along the sides of the machine and prevented the accident. This evidence overshadowed the defendant’s attempt to blame the victim or machine operator and led to a significant settlement.