Injured construction worker and wife awarded $2.25 million following trial at Phila. Court

By Jon Campisi | Dec 5, 2013

A construction worker who says he was seriously injured on the job more

than three years ago has been awarded $2 million following a weeklong jury trial at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

Hildo F. De Franca and his wife, Maria, had filed a personal injury claim in May 2012 against Albino Concrete Construction Co. Inc., JVL Concrete Co., Trans-Fleet Concrete Inc. and Silva Concrete Inc. over a March 22, 2010, incident in which Hildo sustained a host of serious bodily injuries, including brain trauma, after he was struck by a piece of construction equipment.

In their lawsuit, the couple alleged that Hildo was laying cement on a jobsite in Perkasie, Bucks County, when he was struck in the head by a pump hose from a cement truck, an act that sent him tumbling about nine feet below into an unfinished basement.

As a result of his fall, Hildo sustained serious orthopedic injuries, a traumatic brain injury, a compression fracture, a cerebral concussion, headaches, memory loss, stress, fear and anxiety, the plaintiffs’ complaint stated.

The defendants were accused of a host of negligent actions, including failing to properly operate, maintain, inspect, clean, prime and prepare the pump truck that was involved in the incident.

The plaintiffs maintained that the defendants’ negligence led to the pump truck’s hose being plugged, which caused the device to “unexpectedly and violently swing and kick out of control” and strike Hildo, knocking the man to the ground below.

The defendants were also accused of failing to provide adequate fall protection to workers on the jobsite, and failing to offer appropriate training and supervision.

The verdict sheet in the case, which was recorded on Nov. 26, shows that the plaintiffs were awarded a total of $2.25 million following the seven-day trial, which began on Nov. 15.

The breakdown was $2 million for Hildo and $250,000 for his wife, who had a loss of consortium claim in the litigation.

The verdict sheet further shows that defendant Trans-Fleet Concrete was found 50 percent negligent and 50 percent vicariously liable for its agent, 5 Star Concrete.

According to the complaint, Albino Concrete, Trans-Fleet and Silva operated as the general contractors and/or concrete contractors at the Upper Bucks County construction site.

Girafa Construction Inc., for which Hildo worked, was a sub-contractor enlisted to perform cement masonry services on the project, the record shows.

The plaintiffs were represented by Andrew J. DuPont and Priscilla Jimenez of the Locks Law Firm.

Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Paul P. Panepinto oversaw the trial.

The verdict sheet shows jurors found all of the defendants except for Albino Construction negligent.

The record further shows that Albino settled with the plaintiffs prior to closing arguments in the case.

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