A 43-year-old carpenter and his attorneys reached a $10 million settlement following mediation after he slipped and fell on a patch of ice and suffered a permanent leg injury. According to the carpenter’s attorneys, the patch of ice was caused by a broken water pipe.
Five Surgeries Needed
As per court documents, the victim suffered an ankle fracture along with nerve damage. He endured five surgeries, and he now suffers from complex regional pain syndrome. The condition typically develops after a serious injury to an arm or a leg. The pain is disproportionate to the severity of the original injury. Although not thoroughly understood, the condition is often irreversible.
A Consequence of the Opioid Epidemic
The carpenter’s supervisor was an admitted opioid abuser who had left the frozen job site to go to a food truck. One of the attorneys for the victim remarked that the case touched on new victims of the opioid epidemic, those victims being people who are injured as a result of the drug abuse and addiction of somebody else. He added that “The opioid epidemic is everywhere, including the construction site. Contractors have a responsibility to make sure that they only employ safe and sober individuals. Not doing so presents a real risk of harm to the addict, as well as others on the jobsite, and today’s settlement indicates the possible economic consequences that employers face too.” The defense denied and knowledge of the supervisor’s opioid issues.
Workers’ compensation benefits would ordinarily be an employee’s sole and exclusive remedy for injuries suffered in a slip-and-fall at work. The fact that the condition that caused the man’s fall was caused by a third party brought it out of the purview of workers’ compensation law and into the courts with a personal injury lawsuit.