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Construction worker settles for $2.4M after injury

A 32-year-old worker who was seriously injured while working on a construction project when a dirt wall collapsed and buried him up to the middle of his chest was awarded $2.4 million in a settlement.  

According to the plaintiff’s attorney, Ben Whitley, the plaintiff remained buried for about 10 minutes before he was extricated from the collapsed site. The plaintiff suffered a traumatic brain injury, a pulmonary contusion, intro-abdominal hemorrhage, a rib fracture, and other internal organ injuries, Whitley reported.  

Plaintiff sued the entities involved in the ownership, management, and control of the subject construction project, alleging negligence, gross negligence, breach of contract and third-party beneficiary claims, and punitive damages claims. 

Counsel for the defendants argued that the trench in question was dug by the plaintiff’s co-workers, rather than employees of the defendants. Defendants also argued that they had no knowledge that the trench was being dug without a trench box or other safety precautions in place.  

After the injury, Whitley advised the plaintiff to complete a neuropsychological evaluation looking at general cognition, attention, memory, and motor skills. Whitley also hired a vocational expert to produce a vocational rehabilitation assessment and earning capacity analysis. After analyzing the neuropsychological evaluation, the vocational expert opined that the plaintiff would have a total loss of future earning capacity which would likely span throughout his remaining work-life expectancy. 

At mediation, the case was settled for $2,400,000.  

Is this a verdict or a settlement? Settlement
Type of case Construction injury; personal injury
Amount: $2,400,000
Injuries alleged:traumatic brain injury, a pulmonary contusion, intro-abdominal hemorrhage, a rib fracture, and other internal organ injuries; loss of wages and earning capacity; pain and suffering; depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and chronic pain syndrome.
Court: Buncombe County Superior Court
Date of settlement: July 14, 2022
Attorney(s) for plaintiff and their firm(s): Ben Whitley (Whitley Law Firm); Noah Abrams (Abrams & Abrams, P.A.)
Was the opposing represented by counsel? Yes
Were liability and/or damages contested? Yes
Has the judgment been successfully collected? Yes 

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