On June 4, 2019, a Middlesex County jury awarded the Plaintiff, Benjamin Roy, a total of $925,000.00, which was reduced by 26% to $684,500.00 for the comparative negligence of Mr. Roy. With interest, the final judgment amounted to $828,301.18.
On February 5, 2015, Mr. Roy, age 37, was working as a foreman for a framing contractor Shawnlee Construction at the construction of an Avalon apartment complex in Marlborough, MA. Shawnlee Construction had subcontracted a portion of the framing work to the Defendant Freitas Corporation. Later in the day, while inspecting the work of the Defendant, Mr. Roy fell through an unguarded opening onto a concrete floor 8-9 feet below, causing him to fracture his right calcaneus (heel bone). Mr. Roy alleged negligence on the part of Defendant Freitas Corporation, namely that Freitas was responsible for installing guardrails in his work area to protect workers from heights of greater than six feet, per OSHA regulations. The Defendant denied that he had failed to install guardrails at any time on this construction project. The evidence presented at trial established that Shawnlee Construction had been having issues with the Defendant adhering to industry safety rules on several prior occasions, including issues with failing to install guardrails in other areas of the construction project. The Defendant also alleged that Mr. Roy was to blame for his injuries because Mr. Roy was looking up at the ceiling at the time that he walked off the edge of the hole in the floor. Mr. Roy testified that as part of his job duties, he was responsible for inspecting the work in the ceiling and expected that the Defendant had installed stairs in the hole in which he ultimately fell, and if he hadn’t, that he would have put up a guardrail around the floor opening.
As a result of his fall, Mr. Roy suffered a fracture of his right calcaneus (heel bone) requiring surgery and the implementation of hardware. His claimed medical expenses amounted to $44,000.00. He was out of work for approximately four months, and by the time of trial was earning double his pre-injury wages. His total claimed loss of past earning capacity amounted to $17,000.00. The jury heard testimony from the Plaintiff’s medical expert that Mr. Roy had already developed moderate arthritis in the subtalar joint of his heel, which was expected to worsen due to his work as a construction foreman that required him to walk the job site all day. Mr. Roy’s attorneys asked the jury to consider in their verdict the likelihood that Mr. Roy has suffered a loss of future earning capacity due to the progression of his arthritis.
The amount of the jury verdict in this case was significant considering that the Plaintiff only presented a total of only $61,000.00 in past “economic damages” to the jury. Boston Construction Site Injury Attorneys Jeremy Carroll and Brendan Carney were able to successfully present evidence to the jury that Mr. Roy had suffered significant past pain and suffering and would continue to experience pain and suffering for the remainder of his 40-year life expectancy. Attorneys Carroll and Carney also asked the jury to award compensation for loss of future earning capacity, because although Mr. Roy had returned to work full duty following the incident, it was not likely that he would be able to perform his job in the construction industry for the remainder of his worklife expectancy. The case was tried over 5 days at the Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn, Massachusetts with The Honorable Karen Green presiding. The jury returned its verdict for the Plaintiff within a few hours.
This case demonstrated the ability of the Carney, Rezendes & Crowley, LLC to successfully take a third-party negligence case to verdict in order to receive maximum compensation for our clients. The Defendant’s insurer had tendered a final settlement offer in the amount of $225,000.00. Our attorneys recommended that Mr. Roy reject the offer as unreasonable, and let the jury decide what a reasonable amount of compensation should be for Mr. Roy. After the presentation of all of the evidence, the jury ultimately awarded fair and just compensation for our client.