A hotel maintenance supervisor who became paraplegic after he lifted a laundry scale while at work has confidentially settled a workers’ compensation lawsuit against his employer’s insurance carrier for $3.2 million, the man’s attorneys report.
Thomas White of Steinberg Law Firm in Charleston and Peter Brown of Mt. Pleasant said that their client and his co-worker were trying to lift the scale, which was used to weigh guests’ outgoing laundry, when their client injured his back and spine in 2018. Their client initially went home, but ultimately went to the emergency room that night. Doctors ordered emergency surgery, but the surgery didn’t go well, and the client was left paralyzed from the waist down.
The attorneys said that the two main issues were the desire of their client and his spouse to have his spouse care for him at home full-time, rather than hiring a part-time health aid worker, and his desire to seek treatment beyond what the workers’ compensation carrier was willing to provide.
“Future home health care was one of the biggest-ticket items,” White said. “He is 46 and has a lifetime of medical care that he wanted to be able to direct, rather than be directed by the workers’ compensation carrier, who controls everything.”
Brown’s firm met or was in contact with the client several times a week, monitoring his medical treatment, which “allowed Tom to do what he does best and work the meat of the case and work toward mediation,” Brown said.
White said that their client is now doing well.
“He is glad this is over,” White said. “They really wanted to get out of the [workers’ compensation] system, and he didn’t want everybody in his house all day long. Mentally, he is going much better now.”
Due to a confidentiality agreement, other details about the case, including the identities of the defendant and its defense counsel, were not available.
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SETTLEMENT REPORT — WORKERS’ COMPENSATION
Amount: $3.2 million
Injuries alleged: Paraplegia
Case name: Confidential
Date of settlement: July 2020
Special damages: $2.35 million (future medical care)
Attorneys for plaintiff: Thomas White of Steinberg Law Firm in Charleston and Peter Brown of Mt. Pleasant
Attorneys for defendant: Withheld