A 62 year old production line worker who was injured when he fell from a catwalk has settled his career-ending shoulder injury claims for $525,000.
The employee was represented by Swartz Culleton attorney Brandon Swartz, who conducted a forensic accident investigation to determine if any company other than the employer was responsible for causing the accident. An engineering and design safety review concluded that the manufacturer of the catwalk had violated numerous engineering design principles by making the catwalk too narrow and without a hand rail. Swartz Culleton filed suit against the catwalk manufacturer in Philadelphia County. After deposition testimony, the manufacturer asked for early mediation. A key component of the settlement was the plaintiff’s claim for loss of future earnings. Although the injured worker was less than three years from retirement age,
Brandon Swartz assembled a team of vocational and actuary economic experts to show that the employee had a significant future wage loss claim based on productivity increases and the value of fringe benefits and non-work activities. Brandon Swartz explained that, “just because an employee is close to the retirement age, the impact of a work-ending injury on the employee’s future earnings can still be substantial; it’s just more complicated than the usual simple math of multiplying the worker’s weekly wages by the number of weeks until retirement.”
“Many retirees return to the workplace in a different capacity or perform other services for dependants,” said Swartz. “The key is to quantify the economic value of those services and activities.” Following mediation, the case settled for $525,000.