Attorneys for a 48-year-old Torrington electrician who injured his back after falling from a ladder on a construction job at the new Litchfield Judicial District courthouse facility have settled the case for $610,000.
Matthew Davidson suffered compression fractures to his first and second lumbar vertebrae after falling about 15 feet from an unsteady ladder while on the job in December 2015, according to a lawsuit filed in Litchfield Superior Court in November 2017.
According to John Logan, Davidson’s attorney and the owner of Logan & Mencuccini in Torrington, Davidson was on an extension ladder on the fourth floor and heading to the fifth floor when he fell. He landed on his back on the fourth-floor roof, Logan said.
“My client climbed the ladder and the feet of the ladder kicked out from under him because the ladder was not secured at the top,” Logan said.
The mediated settlement agreement was Feb. 20, but both sides were still working on paperwork related to the case after that date, Logan said. Davidson is expected to receive the settlement money any day, his attorney said.
Davidson ended up having surgery to his lower back to rebuild bone strength. Davidson, Logan said, also ended up with an addiction to opioids as a result of pain treatment due to the incident. Davidson reportedly incurred $145,113 in medical expenses.
The settlement was paid via Liberty Mutual Insurance, the carrier for all three defendants: Farmington-based KBE Building Corp. and two subcontractors, Durham-based Interior Building Contractors and Danbury-based United Roofing & Sheet Metal. Ducci Electrical Contractors, Davidson’s employer at the time, is not cited as a defendant.
Logan said the two subcontractors faulted each other in depositions.
“It was IBCs ladder, but United Roofing was doing work shortly before the incident occurred, and they had moved the ladder and did not properly secured it. They did deny that, though,” Logan said.
The case, which was scheduled for trial later this month, was mediated by Michael Riley, a retired judge who now works for Pullman & Comley. Paula Bennett of Gordon, Muir & Foley represented KBE and IBC while Jack Steigelfest of Howard, Kohn, Sprague & FitzGerald represented United Roofing. Bennett did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday and Steigelfest declined to comment.
Negotiations took place over an extended period. “I do not remember their first offer, but it was in the very low six figures,” Logan said. “We were pushing for the seven figures.”
Logan said his client, who missed several months of work, is working again as an electrician for different companies.
“Matt is working, but obviously he is not moving around as well as he was before the accident,” Logan said. “He is still doing full-time work. Matt is happy with the settlement, but is worried about what he will do if his back gets more problematic.” One option Davidson is considering, Logan said, is an instrumental fusion of his lower back. That require rods and screws and provide stability, Logan said. “That is down the road,” he said.