$4.4M Settlement to Elevator Mechanic Injured in Workplace

An elevator mechanic who was severely injured during the construction of Philadelphia’s Comcast Center office tower in 2007 is receiving a $4.4 million settlement to compensate him for his injuries.

The worker, Darrin Ulmer, who was 39 years old at the time of the incident, was helping to move a heavy elevator door onto a drywall cart in a lobby of the then-under-construction office building when a protective floor cover he was standing on shifted and slipped, causing him to lose control of the door and badly hurt his left arm, according to a Feb. 16 story by The Legal Intelligencer.

Ulmer was working as a helper’s mechanic for Thyssenkrupp Elevator services on Oct. 25, 2007 when the incident occurred. The victim had to have surgery to repair a ruptured biceps tendon in his left arm as a result of the elevator door incident and has suffered damage to his brachial plexus and neuropathy in his arm and shoulder, according to the story. Ulmer has also been diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome in his arm and continues to experience chronic pain and depression, the story states. The plaintiffs argued that the elevator mechanic’s injuries had led to permanent damage to his arm.

The settlement in the case was reached after the trial had completed its second week of testimony in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, the story reported. Ulmer will receive a $3.8 million settlement and a waiver of a $602,000 workers’ compensation lien.

Photo credit: iStockphoto.com/courtneyk

The defendants included building owner L.F. Driscoll and Philadelphia D&M, a subcontractor that was tasked with installing some of the building’s floor covers, the story reported. An expert for the plaintiff was preparing to testify that Philadelphia D&M “failed to properly secure the floor covers, which went against industry standards and practices,” and that poor project scheduling meant that elevator workers were not able to use exterior hoists to move the heavy elevator doors that were being installed, according to the story.

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