Jury Returns Verdict of $5.24 Million in Yuba County

LadderPlaintiff was seriously injured while performing electrical work on the roof of the Health and Safety building at Yuba Community College. Plaintiff fell while descending a roof access ladder due to defendant Sundt Construction, Inc.’s failure to apply a required non-slip coating on the ladder steps and clean the ladder of sheet rock and dust. Plaintiff fell approximately 15 feet to the concrete floor suffering multiple injuries.

Plaintiff suffered from injuries to lumbar spine; an L2 burst fracture, a fracture of the right femur, bilateral knee injuries, and a right foot fracture.

Plaintiff had surgeries on both left and right knee. There were also ongoing complaints of headaches and lumbar pain that radiated down the right hip and leg. Plaintiff underwent a steroid injection, a posterolateral fusion, an anterior lumbar interbody discectomy and fusion, with posterior pedicle screw instrumentation into her lumbar spine. Plaintiff spent a substantial amount of time in the hospital and in a rehabilitation facility, as well as non-weight bearing for months and a hard shell back brace for months after that. The road to recovery was long, but not even close to being over.

The defense denied liability until after the depositions of Sundt Construction, Inc.'s management staff were completed. Upon conclusion of all depositions including the Plaintiff's construction safety expert, the defendants admitted liability. Defendants admitted they caused the Plaintiff's damages but disputed the nature and extent of those claims and contended that she would be able to return to work to a job that would pay as much as she made as an electrician.

Plaintiff claimed all medical treatment was related to the incident. There were incurred medical expenses in the amount of $380,000 as well claiming future medical costs including spine and knee surgeries. Plaintiff was unable to return to work and that there was a loss of income that would exceed $1 million.

Defendant challenged the need for future treatment claiming plaintiff had recovered and could return to gainful employment. Defendant claimed all future medical claims were speculative.

After a 12 day trial at the Superior Court of California in Yuba County, the jury deliberated for 2 days and on Friday July 1, 2016, returned a verdict in favor of plaintiff in the amount of $5.24 million.

X-Ray

X-Ray showing fracture of Right Femur


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Roger Dreyer

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