Rich Godshall with Ostroff Law settles worksite injury case

BLUE BELL, PA, February 01, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — After over two years of stalled talks, a settlement has been reached on a worksite injury lawsuit in the amount of $1.1M. It is believed that the multi-year delay was caused in response to the ever-changing COVID-19 conditions and the complex factors unique to this case.

The lawsuit was initially filed in March 2017, after a 62-year-old laborer named Donald Hattenbach suffered two back fractures after a temporary traffic signal fell on him. Following the initial fillings, settlement talks had been put on hold due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Serious discussions only started once Ostroff Injury Law attorney Richard Godshall brought the case before Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Linda Carpenter.

“Even in these difficult times with COVID, plaintiffs lawyers need to stay diligent, be patient and continue to litigate for maximum value on behalf of their clients, and not allow the defendants and carriers specifically to bargain away value because of time,” said Godshall.

Hattenbach was said to be part of a work crew trying to find an underground conduit for a permanent traffic signal at the intersection in the Tacony section of Philadelphia in 2015. The temporary signal was placed in 55 gallons of concrete and secured with a rope. At the time of the incident, it is believed that a mini-excavator driven by a general contractor hit the rope, causing the traffic signal to fall and injure Hattenbach. Injuries included a T-12 compression fracture, and an L1-L2 transverse process fracture, in addition to numerous other injuries. The memo also noted that the temporary signal had fallen twice before the incident in question.

The memo also identified the defendant Carr & Duff, who had installed the temporary traffic pole, and defendant Bruce & Merrilees, who were meant to be responsible for maintaining the temporary traffic signal, and had reset the signal when it had fallen previously.

Both defendants had counterclaims, with defendant Carr & Duff arguing that the signal placement was not the reason for the accident. Instead, the mini-excavator that hit the rope was the cause, and Bruce & Merrilees argued that the crew was working too closely to the rope and failed to have anyone specifically watching out and spotting.

Throughout the litigation, cross-claims were filed, bringing in additional parties, including general contractors and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

After deliberation, counsel for Carr & Duff and Bruce & Merrilees agreed to a $1.1 million settlement on January 14th 2022. The general contractor did not contribute to the settlement.

About Ostroff Injury Law

Ostroff Injury Law® works hard to help accident victims see their deserved settlements. With over 100 years of combined experience, we have worked hard to obtain hundreds of millions of dollars in recoveries for families in Pennsylvania. We work to aggressively represent our clients’ rights with no fee until after our clients get paid.

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