Workplace Injuries: Settlement on Building Code Violation Case

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Workplace Injuries: Settlement on Building Code Violation Case

For the past three years, the Beattie Law Firm has worked diligently to represent the interests of an injured Iowan, who suffered serious injuries after falling nearly 30 feet from the roof a local community gymnasium. Our client was working for his employer, performing monthly maintenance duties on a rooftop air handling unit when he lost his balance and fell to the cement below. He broke both heels, both legs, ribs, and multiple vertebras in his back. He suffers from severe nerve damage requiring prescription medication to help alleviate some of his symptoms.

The Beattie Law Firm filed a lawsuit on its client’s behalf against the building owner and design and construction professionals affiliated with the design and construction of the new gymnasium. Over the course of two years of discovery and review of tens of thousands of documents and nearly 50 depositions, it was discovered by the Beattie Law Firm that the design and construction of the new facility violated applicable building codes and general industry safety practices. In short, there should have been a guardrail where our client fell, but due to the neglect of the design and construction professionals, no guardrail was installed.

The Beattie Law Firm retained various local experts in design and construction, including two highly respected professors from Iowa State University. In addition, seven of our client’s treating doctors were deposed prior to trial, each giving unique and very telling testimony regarding our client’s injuries and treatment. Prior to the depositions of our client’s doctors, we retained a company to develop illustrative demonstrative aid photographs depicting our client’s severe injuries and numerous surgical procedures he has undergone. This greatly aided the testimony of the treating doctors, providing excellent medical testimony to be presented to the jury.

Trial was set to begin in April 2012 in Story County. With the prospective jurors sitting in the courtroom, the defendants collectively settled the case for a substantial confidential amount.

As you may have guessed, our client was also receiving worker’s compensation benefits due to his injuries sustained in the fall. Many people may not realize that a person may have rights beyond those under Iowa’s workers’ compensation laws. Under Iowa law, if someone other than your employer is responsible for your injuries, then you may have a cause of action against them. While there may be a payback to the worker’s compensation carrier for benefits received, there is usually a substantial benefit to the client to pursue the action against those parties actually responsible for the injuries.

The Beattie Law Firm handles both workers’ compensation claims and personal injury claims, and often represents individuals on both claims. While this case would be considered a professional liability case against the design and construction professionals, the Beattie Law Firm often handles cases involving workers’ compensation and other issues such as product liability, premises liability, vehicular negligence, construction errors, and other theories against responsible parties.