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Han Su Chin, a 48 year old man injured on a construction worksite, recently received $2.8m for his medical bills, living expenses, and pain and suffering. In a lawsuit against building owner Koryo Corp., general contractor Dong Y. Jo, and principal of EZ Han Construction Corp. Tae W. Han who hired the worker, Chin alleged that he was not provided with a safe work environment or safe equipment with which to do his job. Chin claimed that, since his injury, he has been unable to return to his trade, and has not been able to find consistent alternate employment. 

On July 26, 2011, Chin was working on a building in Fort Lee, New Jersey, applying stucco to the exterior of a building. Chin had been using a bosun chair made from wood and rope, hanging three stories above the alleyway below to do so. Chin fell from the chair, which he had helped to make, and severely fractured his right leg and ankle. He was forced to undergo two separate amputation procedures, resulting in the ultimate amputation of his right leg. Chin walks with a cane and wears a prosthesis, and claims that he will need medical treatments for the rest of his life.

Chin's award was reduced somewhat from what it otherwise might have been for two reasons. One of these was his contribution to his injuries. While the Bergen County Court jury who tried the case found that the defendants were primarily responsible for his injuries, they also found that, since Chin had helped to make the bosun chair, he was 30% responsible for his fall. Under New Jersey's comparative negligence rules, a plaintiff who is in part to blame for the fact that he was hurt (but not more to blame than the defendant) will have his award of damages reduced by the share for which he is considered to blame. The second factor that may have hurt Chin's ultimate settlement amount is the income he received in the form of a finder's fee for helping a friend find and buy a car. The defense argued that Chin may be able to find a job doing this sort of work, and so should not be able to recover as much in lost wages if he is actually able to make a wage.

If you've been hurt at work, contact the Morristown construction injury lawyers at Smith & Doran for a consultation on your claims, at 973-292-0016.

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