A concrete worker has been awarded injury compensation for an accident on a construction site after a hearing at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
Hildo DeFranca was employed as a concrete worker on a home-building project in Perkasie, Pennsylvania, and responsible for directing concrete through a hose from a pump truck to make walls for the new home.
On March 22, 2010, the hose through which the concrete was being pumped clogged for a third time and, rather than shut down the truck and clear the blockage by hand as he had done on the two previous occasions, the pump truck operator revved up the engine to increase the pressure on the pump to dislodge the concrete.
As a result of the increase of pressure – and the release of pressure when the pump forced the blockage concrete blockage clear – the hose that Hildo was holding suddenly whipped around violently – hitting him on the head and knocking him into a basement below the wall on which he was standing.
Hildo was knocked unconscious from the impact of the hose and was later diagnosed with a chronic brain injury which has deteriorated since the accident occurred. He also suffered several cervical and thoracic spine fractures, herniations and the aggravation of a pre-existing spinal condition.
Hildo and his wife – Maria – sought legal advice, and claimed compensation for an accident on a construction site against the company from whom the pump had been leased – Trans-Fleet Concrete – and the general contractor of the site – Albino Concrete Construction Co.
The case against Trans-Fleet Concrete claimed that the pump truck operator – who was an agent of the company – had failed to operate the pump truck properly in accordance with construction industry standards, while Albino Concrete Construction Co were accused of failing to maintain a safe work site in compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
Both defendants denied their liability and contested Hildo`s claim for injury compensation for an accident on a construction site – Tran-Fleet Concrete claiming that none of their vehicles or employees had been present at the site, and Albino Concrete Construction Co Inc. arguing that Hildo was an employee of a sub-contractor and they therefore had no duty of care.
However, at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, the jury heard that Albino Concrete Construction Co Inc had settled forty-five year old Hildo´s injury compensation claim for an accident on a building site for $500,000 and all they had to determine was whether Trans-Fleet Concrete was 50 percent liable.
After an eight-day trial before Judge Paul P. Panepinto, and three hours of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict in Hildo and Maria´s favor, and awarded Hildo a further $2 million compensation for an accident on a construction site and Maria $250,000 for her loss of consortium.