Doyle LLP has filed suit against Truesdell Corporation (“Truesdell”) and Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement And Power District (“SRP”) for negligent acts and omissions during reconstruction to portions of the Horse Mesa dam.
Our client was an employee of Safway, a subcontractor assigned to construct system scaffolding between a exterior staircase and elevator at the third floor of the dam. In an effort to complete the task our client attached his personal fall arrest system (PFAS) to the handrail of the maintenance platform of the elevator to satisfy the 100% tie-off requirement because he was not provided rappel gear or safety equipment such as lifelines. In addition, a protective safety net did not sufficiently cover the area below where he was suspended.
While attached to the elevator more than four stories in the air, an unauthorized user called the elevator to the ground floor. Unfortunately, SRP and Truesdell did not have an “authorized-personnel only” sign at the elevator call station and also did not maintain lock out/ tag out procedures. Our client began yelling for an immediate shut-off of the elevator, but the call station did not contain emergency shut-off devices.
The force of the elevator slammed our client into the safety cage of the elevator, then over the top of the cage. As the force continued to pull him down the face of the dam, he repeatedly slammed into the elevator and staircase before the handrail snapped and our client was left suspended in mid-air until co-workers reached him and provided medical care.
Our client suffered six broken ribs, three spinal fractures, tore his right meniscus and MCL, endured 25% tears in him forearm, lateral tears in his shoulder and also punctured his skull. Even after anticipated surgeries have been performed, physicians believe our client will not be able to return to scaffolding.
Because SRP is the owner and operator of the dam, the company can’t escape its duty to provide a safe workplace when an inherently dangerous activity – such as scaffolding on the face of a dam next to an open elevator- is performed on its property. SRP also failed its duty to properly train and supervise regarding safety procedures during construction efforts. Arizona law requires elevators have an “alarm device” mounted in a location available to a person within its vicinity, this would have allowed our client to notify those 50 feet below to stop the elevator during its descent. The elevator was also not regularly inspected. An annual inspection would have revealed the elevator was missing an alarm and energy stop capabilities.
As a result of defendants’ negligence, our client continues to experience pain and suffering, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, incurred expenses of hospitalization, medical treatment, loss of earnings, loss of ability to earn income, and other future damage.
This client’s needs will be thoroughly litigated. For years Doyle LLP has been assisting individuals suffering catastrophic injuries, career-ending injuries, and wrongful death cases. If you or a loved one has been injured at a worksite and you feel negligence was a contributing cause, contact the lawyers of Doyle LLP for immediate assistance.