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Construction Worker Wins Record-Breaking Settlement

As many know, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration oversees workplaces and job sites to ensure it is a safe environment for employees. OSHA oversees construction sites as well and most accidents must be reported to the agency. OSHA has detailed that there are four causes of worker deaths on construction sites each year. They are called “the fatal four.” They are falls, which make up the majority of all construction site accidents; being struck by an object; electrocutions; and caught in or between an object. Pipes, ducts, and tubing along with wood and lumber were the materials that were most often the cause of an accident. 

Real Estate Weekly Online reports that a construction worker has been awarded a record-setting settlement. 

39-year-old Ricardo Tavares is a journeyman union construction worker. On a construction site in Brooklyn in 2016, Tavares was struck by a collapsed utility pole. The pole flung him 15 feet to the bottom of an excavation trench. The utility line and pole belonged to a landowner who was adjacent to the construction site. 

Tavares’ employer, Perfetto Enterprises Company had been contracted to work on the Department of Environmental Protection project. 

His attorney claimed that the city was liable for conduct that resembled gross negligence, carelessness, and recklessness. Tavares was not provided with a hazard-free workplace, adequate safety devices, and the protection from the hazards associated with excavation. 

Tavares has been left paralyzed, wheelchair-bound, and has required extensive hospitalization. He has also had to undergo multiple surgeries and participate in rehabilitation since the accident. 

In the largest settlement for a construction accident in the history of the city, Tavares has been awarded $36 million. 

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