A Middlesex Superior Court jury recently returned a defense verdict for Bill Chapman. Plaintiff, a drywall finisher, alleged that he sustained a double ventral hernia due to unsafe worksite conditions resulting in multiple surgeries. Plaintiff introduced evidence of $1.9 million in lost earnings and medical bills in excess of $200,000. The settlement demand was $6.4 million. Acknowledging that the plaintiff had a very serious and complicated medical condition, the defense focused on issues of duty and breach. Seven fact witnesses and seven experts testified. A reenactment done before trial by the defense showed the accident conditions using the same type of staging and equipment used by the plaintiff. Defense evidence supported the conclusion that there were no unsafe conditions and that the accident could not have happened in the manner alleged. After eight days of trial, the jury deliberated for approximately two hours before finding that each defendant was not negligent.
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