$515,000 VERDICT

On May 20, 2011, our client, 26 at the time, was painting a support post on the second floor of an apartment building on Worthington Ave. in Springfield, Mass. when the ladder he was on slipped, and he fell 30 feet to the parking lot below. In the process, he fractured both of his heels, a vertebra in his lower back (L-4) and his right wrist. He was taken by ambulance to Bay State Medical Center in Springfield, where he eventually underwent three open reduction internal fixation surgeries, one on each heel and the third on his right wrist. He accrued approximately $100,000 in medical bills.

On our client’s behalf, we sued the owner of the building, T A J investments, which he claimed purchased the paint, provided the ladder and paid him to do the painting, for failing to have workers’ compensation insurance, as required by Massachusetts law. According to our client, he had performed maintenance work from time to time and was paid in cash. On this occasion, the company had called him and asked him to do the painting, and had purchased the paint and supplies for him to use. However, T A J had no workers compensation coverage, and he was forced to sue his employer.

The Defense argued that our client was not an employee and the company had never asked him to do the painting. The company had a private contractor responsible for maintenance, and at best our client was working for that private contractor. The private contractor testified that he had in fact hired our client for this particular job.

The jury found that our client was an employee of TAJ Investments and found the company liable for his injuries, awarding him $513,022.17 for past medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

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