Practice Area:Personal Injury
Description:John M. was a lifelong mason who ran his own masonry business for 15 years before the recession forced him to close up shop. He became a foreman for a local commercial masonry contractor in Allentown, Pennsylvania. John was assigned to work at the Cedarbrook Mall in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania to build and oversee masonry work on a new Ross Dress-for-Less store. Construction sites can be dangerous places when safety enforcement is compromised. Unfortunately for John, the steel erector contractor was working above John who was setting the first course of cinder blocks on the ground. As the last steel erector employee was coming down the ladder, (a 30-foot heavy duty aluminum extension ladder) it shifted and fell. John was struck on the head and fell into a ditch losing consciousness. Attorney Joe DeRita represented John and his family on the Workers’ Compensation case and the negligence case against the steel fabricator, steel erection company, the construction manager and two other subcontractors on the job site. Construction experts, OSHA experts and 12 medical experts were brought into the case and after 15 months of grueling discovery, the case was prepared for trial. John’s primary injuries were reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) and traumatic brain injury, both of which disabled him for life as a mason or any type of construction work. His wife, Dawn, was forced to stay home to care for John due to his declining mental and physical health. All the Defendants teamed up to hire experts to refute John’s injuries. With trial eminent, the parties submitted the case to mediation before a former U.S. District Judge in Philadelphia. The case was resolved after 13 hours of mediation.