Injury To Shop
Steward On Construction Site
(Settlement of $800,000)
New Jersey Law Journal
$800,000 for WorkSite
Schwartz v. Dick Corp.
and CL&B Associates:
A subcontractor agreed to
pay $800,000 to a Chatham carpenter who alleged that a lack of safety gear
caused a crippling fall.
According to the suit, the
accident occurred on June 17, 2002, while Vincent Schwartz was part of
a work-force building a bank in Madison. He and several other carpenters
were ordered to sheath a wet pitched roof, even though no safety harnesses
or life-lines were available. As he was climbing onto the roof, he slipped
and fell 20 feet to the ground. He suffered two vertebrae compression fractures,
a broken arm and a dislocated elbow, and has been out of work since.
Subcontractor CL&B Associates,
insured by Selective Insurance Group of Branchville, agreed to the settlement
during jury selection before Judge Donald Goldman in Essex County. The
siteís general contractor, Dick Corp. of Pittsburgh, was indemnified.
The main issue was CL&Bís
contention that safety equipment was in transit and arrived about
two hours after the fall. Schwartzís lawyer, Union solo Martin Kronberg,
says Schwartz was trying to make the site safer. Kronberg adds that the
defense argued that, as a shop steward in charge of safety, Schwartz should
have waited to go on the roof because there was other work to do.
CL&Bís lawyer, Michael
Dougherty of Passman, Dougherty & Zirulnik in East Hanover, did not
By John Covaleski