$1,500,000 settlement due to personal injury from Forklift accident at New Mexico construction site
While working for a subcontractor at a construction site, Plaintiff was seriously injured when his own project manager lowered a forklift boom which crushed Plaintiff’s head, neck, and chest, leaving him a paraplegic. Because this was a workplace incident, Plaintiff could not sue his project manager or employer for his injuries; the New Mexico Workers Compensation Act largely prohibits suits by employees against their employers, with limited exceptions. However, when Will Ferguson & Associates began investigating the facts surrounding Plaintiff’s accident, it learned that numerous safety procedures and protocols had been largely ignored by the general contractor for the project, thus creating an atmosphere that promoted unsafe construction practices. While a general contractor ordinarily cannot be liable for injuries suffered by an employee of a subcontractor, an exception exists. If a general contractor hires a subcontractor to perform a job, but the general contractor retains control of the work performed by the subcontractor, the general contractor owes a duty of care to the employees of the subcontractor which, if breached, can result in the general contractor’s liability. In this particular case, Will Ferguson & Associates was able to show that the general contractor retained the right to control the subcontractor’s work at the construction site and therefore bring suit against the general contractor to secure additional compensation for our client.