Partner Bill Hepner and Counsel Fatos Dervishi settled this case at mediation for $5.75 million (the defendant had a six-million-dollar insurance policy) at a mediation prior to trial. The plaintiff, who was 27 years old at the time of his accident, was injured when he was struck by a beam which fell from a height at a construction site and landed on his leg. He fractured his ankle, talus, and calcaneus and ruptured his Achilles’ tendon. As a result of his injuries, the plaintiff required five ankle surgeries. Although the plaintiff was not back to work at the time of the settlement, lost future earnings were heavily disputed by the defendants, since the plaintiff had a good education and could do non-physical work.
Bill made a motion for summary judgment on liability, which he won, and which was upheld on appeal. Defendants tried to argue that the plaintiff was the sole proximate cause of his injuries since he was in the process of lifting the beam which fell. We were able to rebut this argument by establishing through deposition testimony and experts that additional safety devices should have been in use and available to prevent the beam from falling.