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May 152019


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Jeffrey F. Laffey (m) 215-399-9254| jlaffey@laffeybuccikent.com

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Jury Awards $2.5 Million to Philadelphia Plaintiffs Represented by Laffey, Bucci & Kent in Defective Scaffolding Case

Defective Safety Feature Found in Werner’s SRS 72 Scaffold Ends Career of Philadelphia Union Carpenter

PHILADELPHIA (May 13, 2019) – The two-week trial against Werner Company and Lowe’s Companies, Inc. ended in a unanimous $2.5 million jury verdict in favor of the Plaintiffs on Friday, May 10, finding Werner’s SRS 72 scaffold defective in design and having defective warnings. Jeffrey F. Laffey and Stewart Ryan of Laffey, Bucci & Kent, LLP represented the Plaintiffs. The Honorable Michael E. Erdos presided in the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

‘We were able to prove that the deck pin safety features of Werner’s scaffolds were actually the hazards that ended our client’s career,” said Laffey. “This case underscores the importance of a manufacturer’s duty to design a product that eliminates foreseeable hazards — not to create them.”

On June 26, 2015, a 41-year-old male was working as a union carpenter at a substantial renovation of an elementary school (Albert Schweitzer Elementary School) in Levittown, Pa. He was installing sheathing on the exterior wall of the school when suddenly and without warning, the platform of the Werner scaffold upon which the carpenter was standing collapsed. He fell through the scaffold and as a result sustained a sacral fracture and was subsequently diagnosed with protrusions of his spine at L4/5 and L5/S1. Since the accident, the Plaintiff has experienced constant lower back pain that often radiates down his right leg and as a result, requires dangerous and possibly debilitating decompression with fusion surgery. The Plaintiff is unable to return to work.

Discovery and trial testimony revealed that Werner introduced this scaffold in the market in 2010. The scaffold is referred to as a Baker Scaffold. The platform of the scaffold is protected from dislodgment by deck pins that Werner admitted, can rotate to the-point where they no longer serve its purpose in securing the platform. Werner further admitted that the platform can become dislodged after a deck pin is disengaged by foreseeable use, including climbing off and on the scaffold or rolling the scaffold over rough terrain, divots, chords, etc., and other normal conditions on a construction site. Plaintiffs’ attorneys Laffey and Ryan demonstrated that there were alternative designs to secure the platform while in use. Michael Dunn of the Law Offices of Michael J. Dunn represented Werner and Lowes. Lowes sold the subject scaffold to the Plaintiff’s employer shortly before the accident.

Laffey, Bucci & Kent, LLP is a personal injury law firm representing individuals seriously injured due to the negligence of others. The firm represents people who have been catastrophically injured in construction accidents and at work, in auto accidents and as a result of defective products. The Philadelphia lawyers also have a long history of representing sexual assault, sexual abuse and crime victims in civil actions. For more information, go to www.laffeybuccikent.com.

Media Contact: Caitlan McCafferty, 215-340-0480 | caitlan@furiarubel.com