$31 Million For Worker Who Fell From Dangerous AT&T Cell Phone Tower

Verdict: $31 Million | Philadelphia | AT&T Cell Phone Tower

PHILADELPHIA - A $31 million settlement was reached in the summer of 2018 with AT&T and others for a worker employed by a national cell tower service company who suffered severe and permanent injuries when a ladder rung on an AT&T telecommunications cell tower dislodged, causing him to fall nearly 50 feet to the ground. The case settled days before trial was to begin and is reported to be the largest settlement ever reached on behalf of an injured cell tower technician.

Robert A. Buccola, Jason J. Sigel, Marshall R. Way, and Ryan L. Dostart of Dreyer Babich Buccola Wood Campora, LLP co-prosecuted this case to a highly successful conclusion with Pennsylvania counsel, Shanin Specter, Michael Trunk, and Patrick Fitzgerald of Kline & Specter.

Among the Defendants in the case were AT&T Mobility, LLC and NCW PCS, LLC, both direct or indirect subsidiaries of AT&T, and BTE/BT Engineering entities. The lawsuit alleged that AT&T knew of preventable hazards at the tower but failed to do anything to remedy or warn of them.

The June 15, 2013 incident in Allentown, PA left Thomas Jeglum, 23 years old at the time, in a coma for months with severe injuries, including a permanent traumatic brain injury and multiple orthopedic injuries.

Jeglum, who is married and has two children, has resided in a full-time custodial care facility in Northern California and will now be reunited in a family residence, with the resources made available to him through this settlement.

Jeglum, a recently hired employee of Jacobs Engineering, fell while ascending the tower when attempting to retrofit signal transmission equipment. He was wearing proper protective equipment, including a climbing harness. However, a removable rung to which Jeglum was attached came loose causing Thomas to fall approximately 50 feet to the ground. The cell tower, which was owned and maintained by AT&T, lacked a permanent safety cable device that would have prevented the fall altogether. This defective design rendered the tower unsafe to climb. A three dimensional video recreation of the accident, showing the detailed mechanics of the climbing process and failure of the climbing rung, coupled with Plaintiff's counsels' safety retrofit analysis, illustrated very clearly how the accident was preventable and not the fault of Thomas Jeglum.

With this monetary compensation, Thomas will now have access to a multitude of therapies and be able to engage in the activities that he enjoys, that have been otherwise unavailable to him. "The goal is that he will soon be able to live in at home with his loving family, in an environment that will provide him with top level supportive services. Tommy enjoys eating healthy, spending time with his wife and children, trips to the store, and regular exercise, which he will now engage in daily, along with having concentrated regimes of cognitive and physical therapy," said Attorney Robert A. Buccola.

About the Attorney

Robert A Buccola

Robert A. Buccola

Jason J Sigel

Jason J. Sigel

Marshall R. Way

Marshall R. Way

Ryan L. Dostart

Ryan L. Dostart