CA: San Jose Law Firm Details 5 Cases Where Employer Negligence Caused Injuries to Employees

CA: San Jose Law Firm Details 5 Cases Where Employer Negligence Caused Injuries to Employees

SAN JOSE, CA - The San Jose Personal Injury Law Firm of Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard is announcing the resolution of five personal injury claims that have held California Bay Area employers accountable when their negligent acts caused significant injuries to their employees.

In the first case, Attorney Timothy McMahon secured a seven figure settlement against a prominent hotel chain after they failed to provide Workers' Compensation to their night clerk who was injured in the course of employment. The hotel owner knowingly employed the clerk as an undocumented worker and was paying the clerk cash “under the table” without securing Workers’ Compensation insurance. The employee was injured when he went to investigate a complaint of noise coming from a hotel room and was brutally attacked by the occupants of the room. As part of the settlement the hotel chain was forced to take complete financial responsibility for their attempts to circumvent California labor laws. "We want our clients to be fairly compensated for injuries suffered at the hands of business owners who try to bend the rules, and we will leave no stone unturned when an employer tries to take advantage of his employees to save money and line his/her own pockets" said attorney McMahon.

McMahon's partner, Robert Allard, recently settled a brain injury case which ultimately provided his client with $900,000 in additional insurance that will ensure his client will be able to take care of himself going forward. Allard first sued and collected $100,000 from the insurance carrier of a driver who was responsible for a high speed 'roll over' accident in Campbell, California. Knowing that these monies would not take care of his client’s lifetime medical needs, Allard, after extensive investigation, discovered that his client’s employer had a $1,000,000.00 underinsured motorist policy that covered this horrific accident.

"It took extensive litigation and we retained world class consultants including an insurance coverage expert, to assess the applicability of the underinsured motorist policy, as well as a neurologist, neurological radiologist and neuropsychologist who collectively analyzed and assessed the nature and extent of our client’s brain injury. The collective findings of these great experts ultimately forced the insurance company to settle for policy limits," said Allard. He likened the case to one settled for a special education teacher injured in a head on crash. In that case, the insurance company denied financial responsibility but Allard pushed the matter to arbitration and was able to secure an award of over $2 million for his client following a finding of negligence and the discovery of additional insurance.

Attorney Tim McMahon recently resolved a forklift injury claim for nearly $600,000. The client was being lifted by a forklift and a series of 'homemade' strapped pallets to enable access to the ceiling for electrical work. The stacked/strapped pallets collapsed and the plaintiff fell 18 feet to the ground suffering a fractured pelvis. This homemade contraption violated several OSHA regulations and discovery revealed that the employer hid the forklift whenever state inspectors came to the pier. McMahon successfully sued the pier where the accident took place along with plaintiff’s employer and the individual driving the forklift. Despite the plaintiff’s employment status, the liability carrier for plaintiff’s employer offered substantial settlement money because they had failed to secure workers compensation insurance for the job. This fact enabled McMahon to allege a 'presumption of negligence' under the labor code and the employer could not assert plaintiff’s comparative fault. The forklift driver also contributed to the settlement after tendering the claim under his homeowner’s policy despite the carrier maintaining an independent declaratory relief action claiming no coverage for their insured because of a business pursuits exclusion.

In the fourth case, Allard secured a binding arbitration decision for over $815k in a case involving a domestic employer who failed to procure Workers' Compensation for a hired worker. Allard's client was involved in a situation whereby he was being paid an hourly wage to work for a family member and was also being provided room and board. The client's work hours were set by the defendant establishing an employee-employer relationship. Allard's client fell off a ladder while attempting to reluctantly trim tree branches as ordered to by the employer. In fighting for his clients rights to just compensation, the insurance company's $100,000 offer was rejected due to the clients extensive injuries.

In the final case, a truck accident, the employee client was a passenger in a truck that struck the rear of another semi truck disabled on the side of the San Mateo Bridge in the emergency lane. Attorney McMahon sued the trucking company whose vehicle was parked in the emergency lane alleging that they shouldn’t have stopped but instead should have pulled off at an exit to avoid a collision. The bridge had signage advising motorists that stopping in the narrow emergency lane was not permitted. There was evidence that the vehicle may have run out of gas when it stopped because the gauge was broken. The disabled vehicle was also partially blocking the slow lane. The case settle for seven figure policy limits in addition to UIM/Workers Compensation benefits from plaintiffs employer. The settlement was significant because attorney McMahon was able to secure three separate sources of recovery including significant sums from plaintiff’s employer’s insurance in addition to the traditional recovery from the third party’s carrier.

Source: Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard