Recent Workers’ Compensation/Third Party Settlement: $1.5 Million Settlement
Settlement amount: $1,500,000.00 ($65,000.00 from Refinery Owner, $1,435,000.00 from Scaffold Co). This case settled following one full day of mediation. The settlement was a third party Compromise and Release wherein intervenor agreed to waive its $322,614.17 industrial lien.
Plaintiff counsel: Michael D. Goforth, Goforth & Lucas Law Partnership, 2001 Salvio Street, Suite 25 Concord, CA 94520; Phone: 925-265-8964 Fax: 925-682-2353; email [email protected] Mr. Goforth also represented the plaintiff in the workers’ compensation claim.
Our 51 year old client/plaintiff was working as a pipefitter for Timec Company, Inc. inside of a Martinez, CA flexicoker reactor, during a refinery “turnaround” (shutdown).
The reactor is a multi-story cylinder with a circular metal dipleg (pipe) running vertically through its center.
The scaffold within the reactor consisted of steel planks connected in a rectangular configuration around the dipleg which left a gap between the metal planks and the dipleg. Scaffold Co. covered the gap with wooden planks and plywood to prevent workers from falling through the scaffold deck in the areas near the dipleg.
At the beginning of his shift plaintiff entered the reactor and began looking for a power source to connect his electric grinding tools. When plaintiff stepped near the dipleg, a wooden board gave way and plaintiff’s right leg plunged through the deck to waist level.
Ultimately, plaintiff’s injuries were diagnosed as: left knee derangement, right and left shoulder ruptured tendons, and L2-3 and L4-L5 disc herniations.
Plaintiff had worked for 6 months and as a pipefitter intermittently prior to that time for several years. Plaintiff’s contended that his injuries prevented him from returning to work as a pipefitter.
1. Scaffold Co. failed to safely build and maintain the scaffold that the plaintiff was using;
2. Refinery, as owner operator of the reactor, failed to protect the integrity of the work site or insure project safety;
3. Employer, failed to inspect the worksite or properly train its workers.
4. Plaintiff could never return to work as a pipefitter as a result of his injuries.
Note: The 2020s bring extensive changes which will affect all workers’ compensation benefits. Injured workers must protect their rights under the new law. To level the playing field against insurance carriers and their defense firms you must have aggressive and experienced representation from lawyers who fully understand both sides of your dispute as well as the new laws.
Goforth & Lucas will fight to protect your legal interests and obtain the best possible economic recovery.