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Substantial jury award in catastrophic workplace accident

On Oct. 23, a Maryland jury awarded $21.7 million to a construction worker who suffered catastrophic injuries at a Montgomery County, Maryland, job site. According to the victim's attorney, the construction worker was working on scaffolding when the May 6, 2013 accident occurred. At some point during the performance of his duties, the 28-year-old man was struck by an electrical transformer that had not yet been safely de-energized.

The collision with the transformer propelled the victim several feet into the air before he crashed to the ground, landing on concrete. The impact of the fall snapped the victim's spinal column, according to his attorney. The construction worker also received third-degree burns on 10 percent of his body as a result of electroshock from the transformer.

The victim was working for V&T Builders at the time of the accident, a subcontractor for the powerhouse owned by Pepco. The victim sued Pepco for negligence in his lawsuit.

The jury had originally awarded the plaintiff $35.9 million. That amount was to compensate him for economic and non-economic damages. However, restrictions on jury awards in Maryland capped the plaintiff's non-economic damages at $770,000. The plaintiff's final award amount of $21.7 million is meant to take care of medical expenses and lost wages he suffered as a result of his injuries. The award is also to provide for the plaintiffs future medical expenses.

Maryland workers need to know that not every workplace accident will result in catastrophic injuries. You may experience a broken bone while falling from a ladder or require extensive dental work after a slip and fall. Workers' compensation laws can be tricky when it comes to whether you can sue a third party for your workplace accident injuries. Your personal injury attorney can assist you in determining the best strategy for your case. Ideally, you will be able to obtain the appropriate care and compensation for which you are entitled.

Source: Washington Post, "Paralyzed construction worker awarded $21.7 million after accident at Pepco site" Catherine Ho, Oct. 24, 2014

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