The family of a man killed by falling material at a warehouse has settled for $12 million.
In September 2019, Behzad Abedi (“Al”) and his wife Angela Abedi were at a warehouse to select building materials for homes that they constructed, when stored materials in the warehouse fell onto Al, causing him to sustain catastrophic and fatal injuries.
According to the plaintiff’s counsel, Adrienne Blocker, the couple built homes as a hobby since Al was fully employed as a vice president of a manufacturing company in Gastonia. They frequently went to warehouses to pick the materials for homes they constructed. On this day, Al had pointed out a particular material that he liked to Angela, and then the pair separated in the warehouse. Shortly after, Angela heard a loud crashing sound and came running back to find her husband trapped under the materials.
Al was pronounced dead approximately 15 minutes after the materials fell on him.
The lawsuit included claims for Al’s pain and suffering as well as his wrongful death, and for negligent infliction of emotional distress to Angela. Al left behind his wife of 23 years, a son and a daughter.
Plaintiffs alleged both premises liability and products liability claims. The premises liability claims against the lessee of the warehouse related to the manner of storage of the building materials. Plaintiffs also alleged a products liability claim as to the manufacturer of the rack used at the premises to store the building materials.
A settlement was reached at mediation with the frame manufacturer, but deadlocked regarding the liability of the warehouse lessee. After several depositions counsel for both parties were able to reach a final resolution.
On Oct. 11, 2022, the Abedi family settled for $12 million.
“Although no amount of money will ever bring Al back to his loving family, Angela and the children are now able to obtain some level of closure regarding the legal aspects of this tragic occurrence,” Blocker said. “Their road to personal recovery has been challenging and ongoing. They still face constant struggles daily with the memory of a truly amazing and phenomenal husband and father.”
Is this a verdict or a settlement? Settlement
Type of case: Premises liability and products liability. Plaintiff’s decedent died because of being crushed by materials stored in warehouse.
Injuries alleged: Wrongful death of husband; negligent infliction of emotional distress of wife
Case name: Estate of Behzad Abedi-Asl and Angela Abedi-Asl v. Confidential
Court: Mecklenburg County
Case No.: Confidential
Mediator: Thomas Duncan
Date of settlement: Oct. 11, 2022
Special damages: We had a $3.3 million-dollar economic loss report
Most helpful experts: Artemis Malekpour & David Ball, focus group and jury consultants. Gary Albrecht, economist. Martin Davis, OSHA safety expert. Rodney Turk, forensic mechanical engineer. Mark Nelson, Rimkus Consulting Group, forensic mechanical engineer. Jonathan Mitnick, warehouse and stone handling safety expert. Kathryn Sain, grief counselor psychologist. Dr. Craig Mallak, forensic pathologist consultant.
Insurance carrier: Confidential
Attorney(s) for plaintiff and their firm(s): Michael A. DeMayo and Adrienne Blocker; DeMayo Law Offices LLP
Attorney(s) for defendant and their firm(s): Confidential
Was the opposing represented by counsel? Yes
Were liability and/or damages contested? Yes
Has the judgment been successfully collected? No judgment was entered as the case was resolved pre-trial. The settlement has been paid in full by the defendants.