Articles Posted in Construction Accidents

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Construction sites are some of the most dangerous workplaces in Massachusetts. There are countless dangerous situations in on a construction project. Not only workers are in danger, individuals walking, or even driving by the worksite can be injured as well. Accidents happen all too often.

Construction site injuries are often serious and sometimes fatal. Negligent operation of heavy equipment, falls, or electrocution are just a few life-threatening events that happen on construction sites. Even a small hand tool falling from height can change someone’s life forever with loss of life, loss of limb, or other permanent disability. The impact of a serious injury extends well beyond the worker to their family and dependents.

If you have been injured, you should promptly report the injury to your supervisor, or if you are a self-employed contractor, the general contractor or landowner. Interviewing witnesses in the immediate aftermath when their memory is fresh may be critical to a legal case–experienced attorneys are trained to ask the most important questions in these situations. It is also imperative that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Delay in medical attention is often used against the injured party at a later date, claiming the injury is faked or not severe. Additionally, the accident should be reported to the appropriate governmental authorities. However, interactions with entities like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, should be handled with care. Legal counsel can help you navigate these meetings.

A defendant and a third-party plaintiff, C M & B, Inc. (CMB), a general contractor, appealed from a judgment dismissing its indemnification and related claims against its subcontractors Ferreira Concrete Forms, Inc. (Ferreira), and Laserdig. The trial judge ruled, among other things, that the indemnification claim was barred by a governing Rhode Island statute. The Massachusetts Appeals Court agreed and affirmed.In 2009, CMB, having contracted with a property owner to construct a retail store in Rhode Island, subcontracted certain concrete work to Ferreira and certain underground utility work to Laserdig. The subcontracts specified that they were to be construed in accordance with Rhode Island law, and they included indemnification clauses. The owner separately contracted with Meade Construction, Inc. (Meade), to perform certain roofing work.

On September 13, 2009, just as Meade was about to commence work, a tree fell on the partially completed building. Since time was of the essence, CMB asked Laserdig if its on-site personnel could assist in clearing the tree, and Laserdig agreed. Although Ferreira had largely completed its concrete work and had no employees on the site that day, Ferreira and Laserdig were under common ownership and sometimes loaned each other their employees as circumstances required. Accordingly, the common owner decided to loan a Ferreira employee to Laserdig in order to assist the other Laserdig employees, as well as CMB and Meade, in clearing the tree. In the course of this work, Meade placed a ladder against the building but did not sufficiently secure it, nor did CMB safety-check it. As the worker climbed the ladder, it slid to one side, causing the worker to fall and suffer injuries.

He sued both CMB and Meade; CMB filed a third-party complaint for indemnification and other relief against Ferreira and Laserdig. After a trial on the third-party claims, the judge found that the accident resulted from the negligence of both CMB and Meade rather than from any negligence on the part of Laserdig, Ferreira, or the worker. The judge ruled that, under Rhode Island law, CMB could not enforce the indemnification clauses to obtain indemnification for its own negligence, and he therefore ordered judgment for Laserdig and Ferreira on the third-party claims. CMB appealed.

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