This death case occurred when an electrician employed by a Marina was operating a boom lift (cherry picker) and was crushed when he became stuck between the lift’s control panel and the ceiling of a storage building. Since the attorney for the decedent’s wife initially passed on pursuing a 3rd party action-claiming human error- we explored subro potential by meeting on-site with our client’s insured and an engineering expert. While at the insured’s facility, the owner produced a Service Bulletin they received from the lift manufacturer which had been sent to all lift owners, as a result of this accident, that required a specific fix for the cause of this accident. This was a smoking gun document. Following our on-site investigation, and engineering conclusion, we filed suit. Our strategy to initially file suit and then approach the widow about joining as a co-plaintiff proved successful. By joining our action, the widow’s damages created enormous exposure for the lift manufacturer, which was self-insured for $10M. By convincing the widow to join the lawsuit, it also created a basis for our legal counsel and claimant’s counsel to be compensated on a contingency basis. Finally, by having our attorney be lead counsel, we dictated the terms of the 3rd party settlement. In addition to the $100,000 recovery of our client’s subrogation lien, we also secured a credit against any future benefits that would otherwise be paid by our client.
by Nick Tesh