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Jury Finds General Contractor Responsible for Injury to Plumber

An Arizona jury just awarded a $1.9 million dollar verdict on behalf of a seriously injured plumber, represented by The Husband And Wife Law Team, and found that the general contractor could not avoid responsibility for the unsafe work conditions on the job site during new home construction in 2007.

While working at a new home construction site, the plumber ascended a set of stairs which unexpectedly collapsed beneath him. The stairs had been constructed by a subcontractor who was on site. When the plumber ascended the stairs, the stairs were in the process of being moved by the other subcontractor who failed to warn the plumber that the stairs were in an unsafe condition, failed to put up caution tape, and failed to tell the general contractor that they would be working on the stairs that day. As a result, the general contractor blamed the plumber for going up the stairs when there were workers nearby and blamed the other subcontractor for failing to warn the plumber and for failing to tell the general contractor about the dangerous condition on the property.

The general contractor for the home where the injury occurred refused to accept any responsibility at trial. The subcontractor did accept responsibility. The plumber acknowledged the subcontractor had responsibility but also argued that the general was responsible as well. The injured worker took the position that the general contractor should accept responsibility for a safety failure that occurred on their jobsite, particularly one that could have been avoided with proper communication if the right policies and procedures had been set in place by the general contractor.

As a result of the stair collapse, the injured worker suffered a serious back injury that included a burst fracture requiring a two-level spinal fusion surgery as well as other injuries.

After deliberations over a period of two days, the jury awarded the client a $1.9 million dollar verdict and assigned 39% of the responsibility to the general contractor, 58% responsibility to the subcontractor and only 3% to the injured worker.

The lawyers for the injured plumber, Alexis and Mark Breyer of "The Husband and Wife Law Team" were very happy with the result. Mark Breyer addressed the significant verdict, saying "An innocent man had his life altered by a serious but wholly preventable injury. When a jury follows the law and holds companies responsible for their failures to protect workers on the job site, it is a great day not only for our client, but for all construction workers in Arizona."

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