Deceased Worker’s Family Awarded $39 Million after Company Failed to Follow Safety Plans

A Cleveland, Ohio jury has awarded a $39 million verdict against a paving company that sacrificed worker safety to save a few dollars, resulting in the death of a member of the construction crew. The Shelly Company of Thornville, Ohio was found to be negligent and at fault for the death of Randy Roginski, who leaves behind a wife and three children.

The fatal accident occurred on July 27, 2010. Randy Roginski, a 41-year-old Ohio native, was working as a paving inspector on an active construction site for Solar Testing Labs, Inc. According to the National Trial Lawyers, “Roginski [who was wearing reflective clothing] was standing on the berm on the right side of the highway when he was struck by a passing motorist.” When first responders arrived, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The speed limit on that heavily traveled area of highway is 65 miles per hour. Drivers were expected to slow down to approximately 25 miles per hour when travelling past the active construction zone, which proved to be extremely difficult at the time of the accident-around midnight. According to Christian Patno, one of the plaintiff’s attorneys, “the Shelly Company was supposed to have hired at least two highway patrol officers to provide protection that night, with one cruiser stationed at the start of the construction zone, and another four miles into the zone. But only one patrolman was working that night, stationed about halfway into the zone.”

Proper safety measures are extremely important in any construction zone, especially those located on highways or other areas where outside factors present additional hazards on top of the dangers already faced by workers. Special precautions need to be taken to prevent serious injury or death. Attorneys for Roginski’s widow presented evidence that successfully proved the Shelly Company was negligent and did not follow strict safety guidelines that would have prevented the death of an innocent man. The jury awarded Roginski’s widow $19 million in compensatory damages, while the Shelly Company was required to pay out another $20 million in punitive damages and pay the plaintiff’s attorney fees.

“Sadly, many workplace injuries and deaths such as Mr. Roginski’s are preventable,” Roginski’s attorney, Phillip A. Kuri said. “We hope this sizeable verdict will serve as a reminder to corporate America that if someone dies due to a company’s negligent actions, that business will be held accountable.”

Attorney Kuri’s statement is grounded in OSHA research. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that that there were 775 fatal construction accidents in 2012. While some of these incidents were unavoidable, OSHA believes that more than half of construction-related deaths are preventable, only amplifying the anguish felt by those injured and their loved ones. When we go to work, at the very least, we expect the company to provide a safe workplace for its employees. When corporations try to save a few dollars but cutting corners on safety, the victim’s families pay.

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed on the job, please contact our Massachusetts workers’ compensation law firm. Our dedicated attorneys have decades of experience successful handling construction accident and wrongful death cases, and understand the pain and confusion faced by victims and their families. One of our senior associates will walk you through the process step by step, allowing you to focus on your family and health. We will combine the proven skill and experience of our best attorneys to insure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Read the full article from The National Trial Lawyers


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