$3M Settlement to Plumber Hurt in Freight Elevator Accident

A 33-year-old plumber and pipe fitter whose hand was severely crushed and disabled between the doors of a freight elevator while working as a contractor in a meat plant has reached a $3 million settlement for his injuries

James Levering was permanently disabled due to the injury to his left hand, which occurred June 9, 2012, at the meat processing plant of Hatfield Quality Meats Inc., according to a Dec. 8 story in The Legal Intelligencer.

Levering was at the plant working as a contractor when his hand was crushed between the elevator’s doors, according to a plaintiff’s memo, the story reported. “Hatfield had been aware for years that the freight elevator was causing injury to individuals and did nothing to make its premises safe, the memo said,” according to the story. “The memo cited seven incidents at the plant in which others had been injured in the five years preceding Levering’s injury.”

The plaintiff’s also argued that the meat plant “had no safety program, no safety budget and no safety-based bonus incentives, and that the elevator failed to meet ANSI standards, which required two pull straps, one on the inside and one on the outside,” the story reported. “The elevator had only one pull strap, on the outside of the door, forcing Levering to place his hand through the door to close it, the memo said. When he pulled the strap, the door closed more quickly than he anticipated and his hand was crushed.”

Several broken bones in the victim’s hand developed into “reflex sympathetic dystrophy and complex regional pain syndrome,” according to the plaintiffs, and he experiences high sensitivity to any contact with his left hand and arm, the story reported. Levering suffers from depression due to the injury due to psychological trauma and requires therapy and medication, the story said.

Levering’s lawsuit sought compensation of $7.2 million, including $4.2 million in economic damages. The lawsuit was filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas,

About $96,605 of the settlement will be paid by Hatfield Quality Meats, while $1 million will be paid by Scottsdale Insurance Co. Another $1.4 million will be paid by Markel Service Inc., with the remaining $500,000 coming from Erie Insurance Co., according to the story.

These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in workplace accidents, vehicle crashes and a wide range of other incidents through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in such an incident anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

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