Yarborough Applegate Secures $4.25 Million Settlement For Injured Construction Worker

South Carolina Lawyers Weekly covered a $4.25 million settlement for an injured construction worker secured by Yarborough Applegate.

In July 2013, construction worker Rene Cardoso reported to a job at a downtown Charleston job site to assist an electrical subcontractor. When he arrived at the job site, the defendant, Mitchell Mechanical, an HVAC subcontractor from Alabama, was securing a nearly 300-pound water source heat pump in the ceiling. As Cardoso was waiting on the elevator, his attorney William Applegate IV said, Mitchell employees dropped the heat pump, which bounced off a scissor lift before falling on Cardoso. Mr. Cardoso was transported to the Medical University of South Carolina, where he was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury and several spinal injuries.

The workers who dropped the heat pump disappeared and could not be located, Attorney William Applegate said, adding that there was “little to no” evidence of the scene and that neither the defendant nor the general contractor investigated the incident.

The company’s Rule 30(b)(6) witness testified that the lobby in which the accident occurred had been barricaded as required, despite witnesses who said otherwise, Applegate said.

The defense argued that Mr. Cardoso was negligent in allowing himself to be in what was an “obviously dangerous environment” despite the fact that multiple people were present in the same environment. They also focused on Mr. Cardoso’s undocumented status, and failure to file tax returns, rather than the details of the accident.

Attorneys William Applegate IV and David B. Lail secured the $4.25 settlement for Mr. Cardoso prior to going to trial.

The settlements and verdicts shown here should not be considered as a description or characterization of the quality of the firm’s representation and in no way should be interpreted as a guarantee of a specific result or outcome of any particular case. As such, the reader should not rely on the cases below to develop any expectation regarding the value of his or her case.

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