SETTLEMENT : Roofer fell 13 feet when defective wooden beam broke
On June 17, 2004, Reynaldo Salas, 47, was working for the Pasillas Construction Company as a roofer when the subpurlin beam he was standing on failed as he was in process of sheathing a roof. Salas, not wearing any fall protection, fell 15 feet and onto the building’s concrete slab. He died shortly after due to the severity of his injuries.
Reynaldo’s wife, Olivia Salas, and their six children, retained the services of Richard B. Koskoff of the Law Offices of Booth & Koskoff to represent them in a wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturer of the Douglas Fir Standard and Better 4” x 4” x 8” subpurlin beam that failed, its distributor, and its seller. The Plaintiff team alleged that this piece of lumber was defectively manufactured, improperly graded, and structurally unsound, and was the sole cause of Salas’s death.
According to the Plaintiffs, the decedent, who weighed 275 pounds while wearing his tool belt, had been setting blocks on either side of the beam in the moments just before the accident. In setting the blocks, he had to step out onto the beam, which fractured underneath him. They cited a worker, who had been approximately 50 feet away at the time of the accident, claiming that he saw the decedent fall through the air in his peripheral. This witness did not see the beam fracture.
The case was set to go to trial but ultimately settled out of court just four weeks before. The Law Offices of Booth & Koskoff secured a sum of $4,345,000 on behalf of the Salas Family.