A Hudson County jury has awarded Newark resident Silvano Santos $6 million as compensation for severe wrist injuries in a New Jersey construction accident four years ago, the Jersey Journal reports. The construction accident happened on January 12, 2005 when Santos slipped on ice and fell from a second story platform through an open hole that was cut for stairs on to a cement ground floor. The guard rail that had apparently been placed around the hole had been removed to build a wall, but there was no alternative safety device such as a harness, which is required by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.
Santos suffered a shattered right wrist and is still unable to bend his wrist or hold anything heavy. He also suffers sever daily pain, his attorneys say. Santos was unable to work for four months after the accident. Now he is left with a significant permanent disability to the right hand and wrist.
Santos worked for the now-defunct New Way Construction that was hired by subcontractor All-Tech Inc. to do carpentry work at the site. The general contractor, Baker Residential, and All-Tech were eventually held liable for the accident and Santos’ injuries. OSHA officials said they had no record of the construction accident in New Jersey. A local official also said that the accident was never reported, as required, to the Secaucus Construction Code Enforcement Department.
In cases involving on-the-job injuries, workers are always entitled to the benefits of workers compensation in New Jersey. However, these benefits will not compensate an injured victim fully. That’s where third party claims come in. These are basically personal injury claims against someone other than the victim’s employer who was negligent or was responsible for the accident. Third party claims are generally worth significantly more in terms of compensation.
If you have been involved in a construction accident or have suffered an on-the-job injury, please call the skilled Princeton workers compensation attorneys Lependorf & Silverstein to find out if you may have a third party claim. We always offer a free and comprehensive consultation and case evaluation.