A 35-year-old California construction worker recently received a $2.7 million settlement for a severe brain injury he suffered when a defective scaffold broke apart, causing him to fall 20 feet.
The man was initially diagnosed with a broken jaw and two broken ankles; he also lost consciousness. A subsequent examination showed that he also suffered a brain injury, resulting in personality changes that included destructive behavior and fits of anger, as well as concentration and memory problems. The man underwent nine months of rehabilitation.
The victim file a lawsuit alleging that the scaffolding was defectively manufactured and designed, creating a safety hazard. The complaint further stated that the brackets were only supported by two welds, with no redundancy or backup margin of safety, and the design was such that the welds could not be seen or inspected. Therefore, if the welds failed (as they did at the time of the incident), the entire structure would come down.