It has been 11 long years, but Norman Pelletier finally received the jury verdict he deserved. The construction worker’s life changed instantly when an overhead steel beam broke loose and struck him, leaving him permanently paralyzed below the chest. He was motionless on a steel deck, his spine shattered and ribs crushed. Norman’s attorneys worked mightily on his precedent-setting workplace safety case against a New Jersey construction company.
Unless the verdict is overturned, Pelletier could also receive up to $8 million in interest in addition to the $32.1 million, since the company rejected Pelletier’s offer several years ago to settle the case for $6 million.
Pelletier was 42 when injured. According to trial testimony, he and other workers were installing steel decking, and got out of the way as other workers used a crane to place a 2-ton beam overhead. Unbeknownst to Pelletier and the others, one end of the beam was improperly welded to a column.
A few minutes after Pelletier returned to his duties, that end of the beam broke loose and fell, striking him in the head, which was protected by his hard hat, but fracturing his spine, causing paralysis and other injuries.