Yarborough Applegate recently won a $15.75 million settlement—just days before a multi-week trial was set to begin in Baton Rouge, Louisiana—on behalf of a worker who was seriously injured on the job when she fell 20 feet from a scaffolding. The hard-earned outcome is the latest in a string of eight-figure recoveries in 2022, but more importantly, it highlights our firm’s commitment to the rights of immigrant workers who are injured at the hands of negligent employers and third parties.
In July 2017, Meylin Castro was working as a temporary construction laborer. Halfway through her first day on an asbestos abatement project at a church in Denham Springs, Louisiana, she fell 20 feet through a dangerous open end at the edge of a scaffold. The unmarked and unguarded area was covered over by a sheet of polyethylene plastic to create a “containment area” for the asbestos work. Tragically, Castro’s fall resulted in a traumatic brain injury and rendered her a paraplegic. Her past and future medical expenses were in the millions of dollars.
The case was filed against three entities and their insurers: Sunbelt Rentals Scaffold Services, the company that built the scaffold; 1 Priority Environmental Services, the asbestos contractor and Castro’s employer; and First United Methodist Church of Denham Springs, Louisiana, the church where the incident occurred.
In July 2020, two years into the case, Yarborough Applegate was brought in as lead trial counsel. Our co-counsel from The Law Office of John W. Redmann in New Orleans enlisted our help due to our track record of significant jury verdicts and settlements for Hispanic immigrants and victims of spinal cord injuries. Founding partner William Applegate and attorneys Liam Duffy and John Dodds IV worked jointly on the case.
The global settlement included $8 million from Sunbelt, $6 million from 1 Priority, and $1.75 million from First United Methodist Church.
Alongside our co-counsel, we were honored to support Castro and stand up for her rights—particularly in the face of the defendants failure to take responsibility for their role in the avoidable tragedy. Instead, they blamed one another for creating the hazardous working conditions, blamed Castro for not being careful enough, and blamed the church for failing to conduct daily inspections, just to name a few. They even went as far as to suggest Castro’s wage loss claim should be calculated in Honduran lempira, rather than U.S. dollars, because of her immigration status.
Yarborough Applegate’s injured worker attorneys are recognized leaders in complex personal injury litigation across the country. We are honored every time our peers select us to help represent their clients. If your case needs co-counsel, let us go to work for you. Contact our team today.