$5,940,000 Settlement – Construction Accident Case

Photo of construction workers on a job site

Keefe Law Firm settles construction accident case resulting from trusses collapse and catastrophic injuries for $5,940,000.

John E. Keefe, Jr. and Stephen T. Sullivan, Jr. of Keefe Law Firm announced that they have settled a construction accident action against defendants, Iron Hill Construction Management, J.G. Petrucci Co., Inc., JERC Partners, Fredericks Contracting and H.M. Stauffer & Sons, Inc.

In October, plaintiff, Paul Nese, was employed as a construction estimator by Commercial Construction Services (“CCS”).  CCS’s owner requested Paul assist a crane operator in hoisting trusses to the roof line for a Quick Chek convenience store under construction in Bayville (Berkley Township), New Jersey.   Paul went inside the unfinished building’s interior to clean up straps from the trusses and advise CCS’s owner that he had completed his work.  Suddenly and without any warning to Paul, the trusses collapsed into the building and crushed him.

As a result of the collapse, Paul suffered substantial orthopedic, neurological and psychological injuries.  To date, Paul has had more than ten surgical procedures.  Paul’s injuries and procedures include, but are not limited to, right open distal tibia-fibular fracture; left displaced femoral neck fracture; open reduction internal fixation left proximal intrascapular femoral neck fracture; right tibial intramedullary nail fixation; irrigation debridement right open distal tibia-fibular fracture skin subcutaneous muscle and bone; open right leg with tissue loss; transforminal posterior lumbar fusion at L4-L5; posterior lumbar spinal fusion at L5-S1 with complete laminectomy at L4, L5 and S1; implantation and heterotopic oxygenation of the left hip; and implantation of a permanent spinal stimulator.

Paul and his wife, Michelle, filed suit in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County, Docket No. MID-L-7130-12, against the site’s owners, the general contractor and the subcontractors involved in the installation of the trusses.  In their action, Paul and Michelle alleged that the defendants failed to follow well-established industry standards for installing temporary bracing for wood trusses, and that the general contractor failed to warn Paul after its superintendent had become aware that the trusses were unstable and subject to collapse.

Messrs. Keefe and Sullivan resolved this matter after multiple mediation sessions before the Hon. Jack Lintner, P.A.D. (ret.) and settlement conferences before the Hon. Jamie D. Happas, P.J.S.C.  The matter was settled on the eve of trial before Judge Happas, which was scheduled to begin in February and expected to last for approximately one month.

In response to concluding this matter, Messrs. Keefe and Sullivan commented, “The litigation’s resolution resulted from the dedication and enormous efforts of Keefe Law Firm’s attorneys and staff, the perseverance of Paul and Michelle Nese through a difficult time in their lives, and the professionalism of defendants’ counsel.  This was a wholly preventable accident and reminds us that, even today, construction workers face substantial risks while performing their trades.  Although the settlement is substantial, it resulted from Paul’s terrible and permanent injuries and the substantial loss and enjoyment of his future life.”

Keefe Law Firm conducts a state-wide plaintiff litigation and business practice with multiple offices in Central and Northern New Jersey. Mr. Keefe practices from Keefe Law Firm’s headquarters at 170 Monmouth Street, Red Bank, NJ 07701. Mr. Sullivan practices from Keefe Law Firm’s New Brunswick office at 57 Paterson Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, which is directly across from the Middlesex County Courthouse. Keefe Law Firm also maintains an additional office at 263 Lafayette Street, Newark, NJ 07105.