$800,000 verdict plus interest for closed head injury
A federal court jury in Worcester has awarded $800,000 to a construction worker who suffered a closed head injury when he was struck by a steel reinforcing rod that was thrown up at him by the machine he was operating. The 33-year-old worker was using a concrete cutter to demolish a bridge, when the steel-toothed cutting wheel became caught on some of the steel bars underneath the road surface. One of the rods was snapped back toward the operator, who was sitting on an open seat near the front of the machine. The jury found that the machine was defectively designed in that it failed to provide a steel safety enclosure for the operator. The manufacturer had tested and investigated this type of cage, but had felt it was too expensive. The case was difficult to prove, as there were no witnesses to the accident, and the worker himself had no memory of the events surrounding his injury. Crowe & Mulvey successfully reconstructed the events based on the physical evidence in sufficient detail to establish the manufacturer’s liability.