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In a settlement agreement reached earlier this year, a construction worker injured on the job by a falling cinderblock wall has received an award of $2.75 million for his extensive injuries. Dashi Slatina, who was 29 at the time of the accident, was working on a high rise condominium tower in Jersey City as a mason. Slatina had built an eight-foot cement wall intended to separate the residence from an adjoining parking area. Slatina had bent over to clean up excess cement when a strong gust of wind caused the cinderblock and cement wall to collapse, landing on top of Slatina. The worker's hip was fractured and dislocated in the incident, his right wrist was fractured, and the meniscus in his left knee was torn. As a result of his injuries, he was ultimately forced to have a full hip replacement and required surgery on his knee. In addition to his physical injuries, Slatina alleged that his injuries caused him emotional distress. He has been unable to return to work since the accident, which occurred in 2007. 

Slatina brought a lawsuit against the masonry subcontractor who hired him, D. Construction Corp. of Bayonne, as well as general contractor Shore Club North Construction Co., based in Jersey City. The lawsuit alleged that the mason had been improperly trained on the job. According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines, cement walls that are eight feet tall or higher must be reinforced while the cement sets, but Slatina claims that he was not informed that this was necessary. In fact, OSHA investigated this incident after it occurred, inspecting the worksite for additional violations. The federal safety organization ended up imposing fines and penalties on D. Construction for safety lapses on the job site.

After years of litigation, the parties settled during a mediation, with Shore North contributing $1.75 million and D. Construction contributing $1 million toward Slatina's total settlement.

If you have been injured on the job as a result of your employer's negligent handling of safety issues, contact Morristown construction accident and personal injury law firm Smith & Doran for a consultation on your possible lawsuit, at 973-292-0016.

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