Our clients were installing a heavy HVAC condenser (250 lbs.) at a commercial building, which required that it be raised to a 10 foot high roof using a lift device, routinely rented from an equipment company. The contractor/father asked his non-employee son to help him with the installation job. At the jobsite, the plaintiffs set up the lift, placed the condenser on it, and began to crank the winch allowing the lift to raise the AC condenser, which was properly set and attached to the forks. The father was waiting on the roof, holding onto a rope he had tied around the condenser. As the bottom of the condenser became level with the roof, and while the father was holding the rope (intending to guide the condenser onto the roof), the winch cable on the lift suddenly snapped. As a result of this failure, our client’s right arm was pulled toward the condenser and the force caused him to fall to the surface of the roof. As for his son, the forks and condenser came crashing down, stopping just above the ground surface and striking him on the way down, causing his body to fold forward forcefully. The father- contractor, age 62, sustained a severe right shoulder and neck injury. Despite surgical intervention, and extensive post-operative physical therapy, his right dominant shoulder/arm remains significantly restricted in functionality and strength, resulting in significant impact on his activities of daily living and his HVAC/construction business. With regard to the son, age 31, he sustained a significant low back injury, disc protrusion at L5-S1 level. The contractor received $215,000, and his son settled for $35,000.
**Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances**