On May 7, 2008, Jose Rivera was working as a painter on a residential construction site in Atlanta, Georgia when he opened what he thought was a closet door on the third floor and fell approximately 30 feet down an open elevator shaft that had no guardrails, barricades, or any other type of warnings to alert workers of the hazard.
As a result of this workplace injury, Mr. Rivera suffered life changing injuries including multiple fractures to his spine, ribs, and left shoulder and underwent two surgical procedures. The law firm of Childers, Schlueter & Smith today announced that a judgment of over $1 million was entered in favor of Mr. Rivera, against Defendant, Dravins Development Group, Inc. et al. Mr. Rivera was represented by William Parker of Childers, Schlueter & Smith.
The Defendant was responsible for providing fall protection for the elevator shaft and warning other workers on the worksite of the hazard. However, the Defendant failed to provide any safety measures for the elevator shaft and refused to take responsibility for causing Mr. Rivera’s injuries. During litigation, the Defendant committed numerous discovery abuses, including failing to appear for scheduled depositions, which resulted in its Answer be stricken by the Court and a default judgment being entered.
On September 22, 2010, a bench trial on damages was held before Judge Robert Walker, Jr. of the State Court of Gwinnett County who, after hearing evidence of Mr. Rivera’s damages, entered judgment against the Defendant in the amount of $1,141,733.88.