On February 7, 2018, plaintiff intended to lead a crew of iron workers in the installation of structural steel for a custom home in Palo Alto, California. While measuring and confirming the location of anchor bolts installed into the home’s concrete basement floor, plaintiff walked atop an unmarked piece of scrap plywood. Unexpectedly, the plywood flipped, exposing a hole below. Plaintiff fell into the hole and suffered a spiral fracture of his right femur. For the fracture, plaintiff underwent emergency surgical repair.
Thereafter, plaintiff developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). This permanent injury causes swelling, color change, temperature change, and pain in his leg and throughout his body.
Because plaintiff’s iron works employer was a subcontractor at the subject jobsite, the attorneys of Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP had to overcome worker’s compensation’s “exclusive remedy” rule and the Privette doctrine. The exclusive remedy rule and Privette doctrine generally state that a construction worker injured on a jobsite due to the negligence of a general contractor cannot successfully sue the general contractor for a monetary award. Instead, the construction worker is limited to the much smaller recovery from worker’s compensation.
The attorneys of Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP successfully overcame defendants’ arguments and collected $2,480,000 on behalf of plaintiff.