$64.5M Construction Accident Verdict Awarded to Man Injured in Building Collapse

A jury has awarded Robert Matthews $64.5 million for catastrophic injuries he sustained in a 2009 construction accident. Matthews, then 25, was crushed by an 11,000-pound prefab building.

At the time, he had been underneath the building. The structure fell when a train passed by the site, causing the ground to vibrate and the building to move.

He suffered crush injuries to his legs and pelvis as well as his organs. Last month, a jury said that three companies were responsible for the construction accident: fertilizer maker Mosaic, Semco Construction, and Mark Rice. Semco prepped the construction site and the third company was paid to install the prefab building. At the time of the work accident, Matthew was working for Mark Rice.

Of the $64 million, Semco, which was found 15% liable, will pay $10 million. Mosaic, which was held 75% responsible for the building collapse, has already settled with Matthews for a confidential sum. It will not have to pay the jury award.


Crush Accidents

Crushing accidents may lead to serious injuries. Crush injuries typically involve a body part getting stuck between two solid, heavy objects. Falling objects may also cause crush injuries, as can accidents involving machinery such as forklifts, bulldozers, steamrollers, earth movers, and bulldozers. Tip-over accidents involving heavy machinery can lead to crush injuries, as can trench collapses and cave-ins, where rock, soil, and other material could easily crush a worker to death.

This type of injury can be deadly and may cause broken bones, muscle damages, internal bleeding, nerve damage, necrosis, and rhabdomyolysis, also known as crush syndrome. The latter involves cells in the body that have been crushed releasing substances into the bloodstream. This may lead to heart problems and kidney failure. In some situations, amputation may be required. Crush injuries can also cause traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury. The former may result in permanent mental impairment. SCIs can cause quadriplegia and paraplegia. Stroke from blood clot, infection, and gangrene are some of the other serious side effects that also can result from a crush injury.

Workers at risk of crush injuries include forklift operators, operators of heavy equipment, elevator specialists, general laborers, roofers, crane operators, demolition teams, drywall hangers, framers, mechanics, welders, carpenters, masons, and others.

Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation

Typically, an employee cannot sue their employer for personal injuries sustained on the job. However, he or she should be entitled to Massachusetts workers’ compensation benefits from the company’s insurer. There may be third parties involved that could be pursued for Boston construction accident damages, such as other companies that were part of the construction project.

Crush injuries may result in a lifetime of pain and disability. A worker may not be able to go back to work. It’s important that you work with a Massachusetts injury firm that knows how to calculate not just your immediate losses and damages but your long-term losses as well. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today.

Jury’s verdict is $64.5 million in construction accident at Mosaic Co. site, Tampa Bay Times, March 30, 2015

Jury awards worker $64 million for construction site accident, ENR Southeast, March 28, 2015


More Blog Posts:

Worker who suffered electrical explosion injuries awarded $3.8 million, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, March 18, 2014

Fall River construction worker dies while working on natural gas lines in road project, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog, December 12, 2014

Wareham, MA rollover accident kills one, injures another, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog,  April 24, 2015


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