drowe//October 24, 2022
drowe//October 24, 2022//
Type of action: Workers’ compensation
Injuries alleged: Paraplegia
Court: Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission
Date resolved: 6/22/2022
Verdict or settlement: Settlement
Attorneys for defendant (and city): Richard H. Talbot and Geoff McDonald, Richmond
Description of case: The claimant was paralyzed from the waist down when he fell from a roof he was working on. The claimant was working for an uninsured general contractor. The claim initially included the Uninsured Employer’s Fund, or UEF. However, once it was determined that an insured general contractor contracted the roofing job to the uninsured independent contractor, the insured general contractor ultimately agreed that they would legally be liable as the claimant’s statutory employer — if the claimant was able to prove he suffered a compensable work accident. This stipulation resulted in the dismissal of the UEF as a defendant. The general contractor and its insurance carrier alleged the claimant’s injuries were the result of his failure to wear the proper safety equipment.
After nearly one year of pre-hearing investigation and discovery, the defendants made an initial offer of $500,000 in a lump sum, and a $1 million medical annuity with a reversionary interest (meaning, any unspent funds in the annuity upon the claimant’s death would return to the insurance carrier). Ultimately, the parties agreed to settle the claim for $2 million in a lump sum, with the carrier agreeing to pay the Medicaid lien. The parties agreed that the settlement proceeds would be placed into an irrevocable settlement preservation trust, with no reversionary interest. The trust accomplished two significant objectives: 1) We conservatively project the trust will yield the claimant an additional $4.5 million in gross revenue over the course of 35 years, and 2) Upon the claimant’s death, the remaining proceeds will automatically transfer into new trusts established for the benefit of each of his seven children.
Plaintiff’s law firm provided case information.