PERSONAL INJURY BLOG

California Launches Campaign to Protect Roofing Workers

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Roofing workers are a high-risk category of construction workers, with an enhanced risk of death from falls, sunstroke, and other hazards. California's occupational safety and health agency has announced an initiative that is targeted at helping protect roofers from the severe and hazardous conditions that they face every day.

The California Occupational Safety and Health Agency’s campaign will run between March 1 and November 1, and will specifically target roofing operation inspections to ensure that workers are being provided safe conditions. Those conditions include the training that they require to perform their jobs efficiently and safety. The campaign will also investigate whether workers are being provided the safety equipment that they need to perform their jobs safely.

Fall accidents are a major cause of fatalities involving roofing workers. In fact, according to the statistics, it is a major cause of both injuries and fatalities involving roofing. However, falls among roofing workers are entirely preventable. For example, the use of personal fall restraint systems can play a major role in helping roofers reduce the risk of accidents. During their inspections, state workplace safety inspectors will specifically check if worksites have railings installed on their buildings to help prevent falls.

Another major risk for California roofers is the risk of heat stroke, especially with summer due to begin over the next few weeks. The inspectors will be specifically looking at whether employers have implemented keystroke and heat illness prevention programs to protect workers from these injuries.

If you have suffered injuries in a construction accident, speak to a Los Angeles construction accident attorney about filing a workers’ compensation claim.

$1,150,000 Grocery Store Construction Injury Case Settlement

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Construction Injury at Grocery StoreA 24 year old pharmacist suffered a construction injury while shopping at a local grocery store when a construction tool bar fell on her shoulder. After contacting the claims department for the store and construction firms, she received no apology and no assistance with her medical bills or treatment. She then contacted attorney John Nojima of the Los Angeles personal injury firm of Lederer & Nojima, LLP who immediately referred her to medical specialists to diagnose and treat her injuries. 

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Caused by Construction Injury

The client sustained shoulder injuries requiring two surgeries and was ultimately diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome. Thoracic outlet syndrome is a condition involving compression at the superior thoracic outlet which is usually caused by trauma, results in sharp pain, and often is the underlying cause of other conditions such as frozen shoulder or carpal tunnel syndrome. 

Grocery Store Responsible for Safety at Construction Site

Mr. Nojima was able to show that despite the fact the store and construction companies were renovating during store hours, they failed to put up adequate warning signs for customers or take steps to protect their customers from a potential construction injury. The grocery store attempted to argue that the client walked through caution tape to get to the aisle where she was injured; however Mr. Nojima was able to show that no such caution tape was placed. The client’s past medical bills totaled $170,000.00 and her doctors testified that she would require ongoing treatment for her thoracic outlet syndrome. The client also was forced to miss time from work for her injuries and during her recovery from surgery. On the eve of trial, Mr. Nojima argued at mediation that the client deserved an amount in damages far in excess of her medical bills. 

Ultimately, through careful investigation and perseverant advocacy, Mr. Nojima achieved a settlement of $1,150,000.00. The client was happy with her settlement and relieved that she would not have to go through a potentially long and risky trial.

Crane Accident at WTC Construction Site

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A crane accident on the other side of the country does not normally catch the attention of any Los Angeles construction accident attorney. However, this particular accident occurred at the World Trade Center construction site, and led to work at the site being party shutdown.

According to reports, the accident occurred when a cable on the crane snapped, leading to a load of girders falling down approximately 40 steel stories below. Astonishingly enough, the girders landed neatly on a flatbed tractor-trailer, perfectly balanced, and looking almost like they had been placed there.

According to construction workers at the scene, there was a loud crash when the cable snapped, and workers began running helter-skelter. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries or fatalities in this accident. However, one man has been reported to have suffered minor injuries.

The girders fell from a height of 40 stories, and the beams weighed about 60 feet in length and weigh several tons. This was an accident that could have easily turned disastrous. After the accident, which occurred early in the morning, the construction site was party shut down. The company which was handling work at the site has begun an investigation into the accident. The Port Authority of New York and the local fire and police departments are also expected to launch their own investigations.

Crane safety at the Big Apple has been a concern for construction accident lawyers. Ironically enough, the collapse at the World Trade Center site coincides with the trial of the crane owner in the deadly crane collapse that occurred in New York in 2008. The owner of the crane is on trial for manslaughter in the accident which killed 2 workers, and is accused of scrimping on repair jobs that would've prevented the accident.

More Revelations about Contractor Negligence Post California Construction Accident

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

The contractor in charge of a construction site in Milpitas, California that was the center of a tragic trench collapse has had his license suspended. The Contractors’ State License Board has held that US Sino Investments Inc. failed to comply with state workers’ compensation insurance laws. In 2008, the contractor had allegedly filed paperwork claiming that it did not have any employees.

Over last weekend, a 39-year-old carpenter working for US Sino Investments was killed in a trench collapse at the site when a retaining wall collapsed on him. According to reports, at the time of the accident, the carpenter was working near an unsupported 13-foot retaining wall. The wall suddenly collapsed on him, effectively burying him under a wall of dirt.

Not surprisingly to Los Angeles construction accident lawyers, rescuers rushed to the scene, but were unable to reach the worker in time. He succumbed to his injuries. Rescuers could not even reach the worker's body, because the area was deemed unstable. Retrieving the body was a challenge, and emergency personnel had to draw up a safety plan to be able to retrieve the body safely without endangering any rescue personnel.

Just a few days before this construction accident, authorities had come down on the company for failure to obtain a state permit before digging a 30-foot deep trench. Under California laws, contractors who want to dig a trench that is 5 feet or deeper, must obtain a special license.

In fact, three days before the accident, city officials had inspected the property, and had slapped the site with a stop–work notice. The contractor was ordered to immediately cease work on the site. The inspector was especially concerned because of the rainy conditions, and because the foundation did not have shoring in place to prevent a collapse. The contractor ignored the stop-work notice. Barely 3 days later, the carpenter was killed.


Three Construction Workers Injured in San Francisco Accident

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Three construction workers were seriously injured in a fall accident at a construction site in San Francisco this week.

The accident occurred in the Dogpatch neighborhood, when the men were working on a six-story building project. They were pouring concrete when they fell three stories down, sustaining serious injuries. A fourth worker also suffered minor injuries.

The construction sector is one of the most dangerous workplaces for California workers, accounting for approximately one out of three fatalities annually. Fall accidents are some of the most serious construction site accidents, and also some of the most preventable ones. Most fall accidents can be prevented through the use of safer work platforms, elevated surfaces, and guardrails. These accidents can also be avoided if workers are provided fall protection gear when they are working at certain elevations.

Construction workers in California who are injured in accidents on a worksite may be eligible for monetary compensation for their injuries under the state’s Workers’ Compensation laws. Compensation after a construction accident can include damages for medical expenses and lost wages. Workers may also be eligible to file short-term and long-term disability claims.

However, in some cases, there may be third parties that may be liable for a construction worker’s injuries. For instance, when an accident is caused due to the negligence of a subcontractor, or a party other than the employer, the victim may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against the party.

There are other types of construction accidents that may involve third party liability too. For instance, when an accident or injury is caused because of defective equipment, a California construction accident lawyer can often name the manufacturer of the equipment in a third-party lawsuit, opening up another avenue for compensation recovery.

Worker Suffered Burn Injuries in Moorpark Construction Accident

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced an investigation into a backhoe accident at a construction site in Moorpark, California.  A worker was injured, when the backhoe struck an underground power line, triggering a flash and knocking off power to thousands of Southern California Edison customers.

According to Moorpark police, the accident occurred when a backhoe struck the power line, which is located about 70 feet below the surface of the ground. The power line exploded and the worker, a spotter for the back hoe operator, suffered burn injuries. He was rushed to a Thousand Oaks Hospital, and was later released. The incident also triggered a major power outage to approximately 3,300 Moorpark residents.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, its Ventura office has opened an investigation into the incident. The agency is taking particular interest because this incident involves burn injuries. The investigation will probe whether any violations of federal occupational safety regulations occurred here, and if any fines or penalties are required in this case. There is still some confusion about who was the exact operator of the backhoe. According to Moorpark police, it is a company called Bottenfield Construction from Valencia, while according to Cal OSHA, it is a company called Blois Construction in Oxnard.

Not surprisingly to California construction accident lawyers, both these companies have now begun a finger pointing exercise. According to Bottenfield Construction, it had nothing to do with the incident, because all backhoe operations were being conducted by Blois Construction. However, according to the latter, it had been subcontracted by Bottenfield Construction. Blois insists that it was in compliance with all safety precautions at the time of the incident.

 

Lederer & Nojima LLP Obtains More Than $2.5M for Injured Worker

Thursday, October 07, 2010

We are pleased to announce that the Los Angeles personal injury law firm of Lederer & Nojima LLP has obtained a judgment of $2,506,432.76 for a worker who sustained serious personal injuries while on a job site in Los Angeles.

The construction site accident occurred on April 18, 2008. Sergio Quintana had been hired by a contractor to perform work on a property belonging to Alvin and Carla Pittman. On the day of the accident, Mr. Quintana was told to undertake painting work on the property, as well as some other tasks. He was standing on scaffolding when the scaffolding shifted, causing Quintana to fall to the ground. He sustained several serious injuries, including severe fractures to his left ankle. He also developed an infection resulting from his injuries which required skin and muscle grafts. The scaffolding had been improperly designed and constructed, and had been erected on an unstable surface.

What made Mr. Quintana’s situation even more difficult was the fact that he was not eligible for worker’s compensation benefits. He had worked on the Pittman’s property less than 36 hours before his serious injuries and did not constitute an employee under California's workers compensation laws as defined in Labor Code section 3352(h). Our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers argued that the Pittman couple retained Quinata’s employer as a contractor without first verifying the competence and fitness of this contractor to perform the work. For instance, they failed to determine whether the contractor they hired had the proper license to perform the construction work. The Pittmans also maintained a dangerous condition on their property by having unstable scaffolding on the job site.

This worker was put to great anguish and trauma because of improperly designed and constructed scaffolding, erected on unstable ground. A construction worker may be greatly incapacitated and unable to work because of injuries like the ones that Mr. Quintana suffered. Accidents like these do not need to occur on a construction worksite. Scaffolding accidents are some of the most common on a construction worksite, and can be prevented if scaffolding is designed properly, constructed using high-quality materials and correctly placed on stable ground.

OSHA Cracking down on CA Employers Who Hide Construction Injuries

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The construction industry is one of the most dangerous work places in the country.  It is also a sector that has some of the highest rates of underreporting of injuries.  Many injuries in the sector are underreported, because employers who report higher than average workplace injuries are more likely to be subject to inspections by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.  Employers have much incentive to underreport injuries, and when this happens, it can make it hard for OSHA and Los Angeles construction accident lawyers to determine the extent, nature and severity of injuries that have occurred every year.

Fortunately, OSHA is undertaking extensive inspections of workplaces across the country to determine the extent of underreporting.  The agency plans to conduct these inspections over a two-year period, and so far, it has managed to inspect about 185 workplaces.  It plans to inspect a total of 380 by the end of the year.  However, resources are stretched, and the agency needs dozens of inspectors to be able to complete this task.

Construction work places in California can be the site of several injuries, including scaffolding accidents and collapses, trench cave-ins, electrical accidents and electrocutions, slip and fall accidents, and other injuries.  Many of these injuries go undocumented, because employers want to present a picture of the perfect workplace to the world.  Employers hold so-called safety contests that reward employees for an ”injury free workplace.” 

In many cases, it's not so much that injuries have not occurred, as much as they have not been reported.


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Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyers

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