Fred Lachat Summary Judgment Win for Contractor in Job-Site Stair Collapse

Plaintiff sustained catastrophic injuries prohibiting him from future employment as a carpenter when a temporary wooden stair he had complained to his employer and other contractors of, collapsed. The court ultimately granted Philadelphia partner Fred Lachat’s summary judgment based on Workers’ Compensation immunity, but declined to grant summary judgment in favor of the company’s owner despite his status as co-employee. After a 12-day trial, Judge Powell granted directed verdict in favor of Fred’s client holding the client owed no duty to plaintiff by virtue of his ownership of the property, and that any duties arose from his employment status, and thus he was immune from tort claims. The Plaintiff had demanded 6.5 million and the jury ultimately returned a 3 million dollar verdict in his favor against the remaining defendants.