Jon Campisi Dec. 5, 2012, 8:51am

A construction worker from New Jersey has initiated a workplace injury claim against

three Pennsylvania-based contractors over allegations that the defendants’ collective negligence led to the plaintiff becoming injured at a jobsite this past summer.

Attorneys Andrew J. Dupont and Priscilla Jimenez, of the Philadelphia-based Locks Law Firm, filed suit Nov. 30 at state court in Philadelphia on behalf of Vincent McGrath and his wife, Mera Ziegler-McGrath, who reside in Vorhees, N.J.

The defendants named in the litigation are Philadelphia-based Intech Construction, Malvern, Pa.-based Madison Concrete Construction, doing business as Madison Construction Co., and Bridgeville, Pa.-based Maxim Crane Works LP.

The defendants had been contracted to construct a building on the property of the Agnes Irwin School in Bryn Mawr, Pa. in July and August of this year.

Intech was the general contract on the project, while Madison was in charge of handling the concrete and Maxim provided crane services, the suit states.

McGrath, who worked for Bay Shore Inc., which provided reinforced steel bar construction services for the foundation walls at the worksite, was lowering three, 26-foot by 6-inch long reinforced steel bars inside the foundation wall of the basement on the project, in order to make a column, back on July 12, when, due to the defendants’ alleged wrongful conduct, the bars fell about three feet, pulling both of McGrath’s shoulders, and causing the plaintiff to sustain severe personal injuries, the complaint alleges.

The suit blames Maxim, in part, for the accident by claiming that the crane operator working for the firm failed to properly observe the work that was being done and ensure that the crane was being operated in a safe manner, the lawsuit claims.

Furthermore, the suit faults the other two defendants for failing to design and plan the construction wall in a safe manner.

“The steel bars were caused to fall because the crane cable securing the bars had slack in the line when it should have been taut, thereby allowing the bars to fall approximately 3’,” the complaint reads.

The lawsuit goes on to state that on Aug. 2, after returning to work, the plaintiff was working on the frame of the foundation wall, comprised of 30-foot sections of reinforced steel bars that were about 28-feet high, when, due to the instability and flexibility of the wall, McGrath was caused to slip and fall, again injuring his left shoulder.

The complaint asserts that due to the instability and flexibility of the wall, molds for the poured concrete walls should have been used to support and stabilize the wall, or a man lift should have been made available to perform work on the frame without requiring the plaintiff and others to work upon the wall.

“Moreover, retractable safety lines should have been provided for use by the Plaintiff while working on the reinforced steel bar frame of the foundation wall,” the complaint states.

All in all, McGrath sustained various injuries to both of his shoulders, including a large SLAP lesion, superior labral tear anterior-to-posterior extent, fraying of the anterior labrum, and other traumatic injuries to his body and nervous system, the lawsuit alleges.

All three defendants in the litigation are accused of various acts of negligence, including, but not limited to, failing to provide training and supervision to workers and employees, failing to properly screen and/or monitor the activities conducted by contractors and subcontractors, failing to properly inspect the construction site and failing to provide reasonable and necessary fall protection.

“Defendants acted recklessly in that they knew of the risk of serious bodily harm and even death caused by its misconduct in the form of not properly inspecting, maintaining, operating, preparing and priming the construction site and operation of the crane, and despite this knowledge, proceeded to act and fail to act in the face of and conscious disregard of the great risk of serious bodily harm and even death,” the lawsuit reads.

McGrath, the suit alleges, had to spend money on hospitalization, rehabilitation, and other medical care due to his injuries.

The complaint also contains a loss of consortium count on behalf of McGrath’s wife.

The couple seeks more than $50,000 in compensatory damages, as well as interest, costs and delay damages.


The case ID number is 121103177. 

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