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Carpenter Awarded $2M in Contractor Negligence Case

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

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A construction worker who was partially blinded on a job site has been awarded $2 million after a New Jersey jury found the contractor negligent.

Edwin Encalada was working on a construction site in Demarest, New Jersey, in October 2012, for a small company—NHS & BJ Enterprises (Trenton, New Jersey), which was subcontracted by general contractor Rock Ridge Construction Management LLC (Tenafly, New Jersey).

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A construction worker who was partially blinded on a job site has been awarded $2 million after a New Jersey jury found the contractor negligent.

His attorney, Robert Baumgarten, told nj.com that while trying to shoot a nail gun, something shot back into Encalada’s eye, causing it to bleed. At the time of the incident Encalada was rushed to a local hospital, where he had surgery for a lacerated cornea.

The attorney said that Encalada was rendered “industrially blind” because of the incident, with blurry vision and depth perception impairment.

Encalada blamed Rock Ridge for the accident, alleging that the company was negligent in instructing workers to wear protective eye gear. The jury agreed.

Rock Ridge was unable to be reached for comment.

Cracking Down

Federal and state officials have been imposing fiercer punishment on general contractors and construction companies when a worker gets injured or killed on the job.

Last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration had piled on $101,400 in fines and two willful citations—the max citation that OSHA can issue—on Hultgren Construction (South Dakota) for a December 2016 accident that killed one man and trapped a resident for hours.

This was after the agency had already issued more than $200,000 in fines and two dozen citations between the construction company and a labor agency just weeks prior. 


Tagged categories: Accidents; Construction; Contractors; Laws and litigation

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