The plaintiff was a 44 year old construction worker who was walking down a temporary stair tower when a portion of the tower suddenly collapsed, resulting in a fall of 20 feet. The cause of the accident was a broken hook on one of the stair stringers. The hook was defectively designed. The ratio of the bend radius to the steel thickness on the stringer hook was one-half of what was suggested by the relevant provision of the ASTM.
In the course of discovery, records were ultimately produced that showed numerous other failures of the design. By the time of the accident, the manufacturer had stopped selling this type of design. The steel erector was the other defendant in its capacity as lessor of the product. Robert Feinberg contended that both the manufacturer and the lessor had sufficient notice that the product was defective and that each of them was therefore negligent. In addition, Robert brought claims under the products liability statute (MGL c. 2-314,et. al.) for manufacture of a defectively designed product and for leasing a defective product.
The Plaintiff sustained L1 burst fracture with retropulsion into the spinal canal and loss of height of T6, T7, and T8 vertebral bodies requiring decompression and fusion as well as repair of an avulsion nerve root.
Special Damages: $208,460.00 in medical bills and a loss of earning capacity of more than a million dollars as calculated by an economist.
The settlement is believed to be the biggest resolution of a Massachusetts product liability case in 2022 and the second highest recovery for a Boston accident in 2022.
Source: Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Verdicts and Settlements
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Boston Attorneys Win Highest Injury Verdict in Massachusetts in 2011 & 2012.