A construction worker was awarded a $14.6 settlement after a 2002 highway construction accident resulted in the amputation of one of the woman’s legs below the knee. The woman, Bobbi Jo Craver, was a construction flagger when a concrete cutter ran over her. Vermeer Central Illinois, a heavy equipment dealer, has to pay the major portion of the settlement, around $13.4 reported Trading Markets.com.
Craver’s attorney, Robert Napleton, said that G.M. Sipes Construction who was Craver’s employer, rigged the fuel solenoid on the concrete cutter so that the emergency stop button would not work. When a worker lost control of the concrete cutter and hit the emergency stop button, the machine continued to run, running over Craver and then going into traffic where it struck a tanker. Napleton said that this was not the first time that G.M. Sipes rigged machines to thwart their safety controls. Napleton said, “They had bypassed those things basically to keep the job moving and keep the job running.”
Besides the equipment dealer, the equipment manufacturer has to pay Craver $1.2 million. Craver’s employer is responsible for around $200,000 in worker’s compensation payment. The accident occurred in Illinois and although the jury considered G.M. Sipes Construction company more responsible for the accident, Sipes is not required to pay damages because of Illinois law.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, in 2006, 87 workers in Washington State were killed on the job. Every year thousands of construction workers are seriously injured and many disabled. Falls, chemical exposure, violence, burns and being hit by equipment are some of the causes of accidents.
Because workplace injuries are complicated by worker’s compensation and State laws, it is wise to seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney if you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a construction accident. In addition to worker’s compensation, you may be entitled to compensation for loss of limb, medical expenses, lost earnings and pain and suffering. The Farber Law Group is experienced in dealing with with worker’s compensation laws and laws governing 3rd parties. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.