Attorneys for a 41-year-old New Britain man who suffered permanent back injuries following a slip and fall at his job in 2013 have agreed to a $325,000 workers’ compensation settlement.
Wilkins Irizarry underwent a July 2014 spinal fusion and will never be able to work again due to the injury, said Alex Sarris, his attorney.
Sarris, an associate with Cicchiello & Cicchiello in Hartford, told the Connecticut Law Tribune Monday that both sides made their case to Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Peter Mlynarczyk on Sept. 7.
“Our argument was that he had a permanent incapacity from working in the field—that he has a permanent total disability. The slip and fall changed my client’s life,” Sarris said. “There were dueling experts. Our expert said his injury was caused by the accident at work and that he would not be able to work at any time in the future. Their experts said otherwise, and that was the main contention.”
Sarris said Irizarry continues to suffer from back pain, requiring medication. “The back pain is permanent,” he said.
Irizarry worked as a manual laborer for the Rocky Hill-based Burris Logistics at the time of the incident. Burris is a food service redistribution company.
Burris and its insurance carrier, Travelers Property Casualty Corp., were represented by Donald Babiyan, of the Law Offices of Cynthia Garraty in Hamden. Babiyan did not respond to a request for comment Monday.
Travelers’ first offer to settle was for $150,000, Sarris said. Sarris said his initial demand was for $345,000. Following testimony from medical experts that said Irizarry would not be able to work again, the demand jumped to $600,000.
Mlynarczyk set the settlement at $325,000. That amount was signed off on by both sides on Nov. 15, with payment expected by Dec. 5.
Travelers had the option to appeal the ruling, but chose to settle the case, Sarris said.