WRSH partner, William Hepner, settled this case for plaintiff, a 49-year-old union worker, for $1.65 million and a waiver of the $339,000 gross workers compensation lien, at a recent mediation. Plaintiff injured his neck and mid back, resulting in the need for a cervical fusion and thoracic discectomy. The defense raised several arguments on both damages and liability. With respect to liability, our client had been treating for cervical problems at the same level, with MRI confirmation, for years before the accident, and had been treating consistently up until four months before the accident; after the accident he continued to work, did not go for treatment until four months later and did not tell any doctor about the accident. Finally, a supposed eyewitness to the accident later testified he did not remember the accident happening. With respect to liability, there was an issue as to whether the labor law was applicable to this specific rotating excavating machine which struck plaintiff in the back when it turned. We used an expert to counter the defense arguments and also argued that the defendant was not interpreting the law correctly. Defendant’s motion to dismiss the case was pending when the case settled.

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