A thirty year old man was seriously injured on the job while working for a landscaping/snow removal company in Marlboro, Massachusetts in 2015. During the unbelievably snowy winter of 2015 this employee was sent to a residential home in Sudbury, Massachusetts to remove snow and ice from the roof of the house. He was with two other co-workers and all three were up on the roof of this house with shovels and other tools to remove the snow and ice. As this employee was removing the snow and ice, he slipped on the icy roof and fell two stories to the ground. Fortunately for him, he managed to get his feet under him during the fall. The problem was that he landed on his heels directly onto the concrete walkway below that they had just shoveled. He was wearing heavy duty work boots, but they did very little to cushion the fall. Immediately this employee felt shooting pain in his feet and legs. He could barely get up and his co-workers rushed down to help him. They knew right away something was very wrong.
One of the co-workers helped him into the car and drove him to UMass Memorial – Marlborough Hospital. The Emergency Room doctors took X-rays and diagnosed his injury as a comminuted intra-articular fracture of the right calcaneus. The calcaneus is the heel bone and a comminuted fracture is where the bone is shattered into three or more pieces. In this specific case, the employee’s heel bone was shattered into 5 pieces. The injury was so severe that the doctors at Marlborough Hospital had him transported by ambulance to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester. The doctors at UMass in Worcester confirmed his injury and placed the employee in a splint and compressive dressing. The employee was ordered to follow up with an orthopedic surgeon at UMass in Worcester in the next few days. The surgeon evaluated the injury and immediately scheduled surgery because of the severity of the fracture. The employee underwent an open reduction internal fixation with the use of hardware. The surgeon had to use a steel plate and seven screws to stabilize the heel bone. Following the surgery, the employee couldn’t walk for quite a while, never mind work. As the employee rested at home after the surgery he kept calling his boss to talk about how to get workers’ compensation. His boss would not take or return his calls.
After a frustrating few weeks trying to get in touch with his employer he called our office. He was referred to us from a friend, who was also injured on the job a couple years ago. We drove out to this man’s house in Hudson, Massachusetts and discussed the details of his case and explained the workers’ compensation process. He hired us and we took immediate action.
A claim for disability benefits and medical benefits was filed right away with the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents. We know in situations like this, where an employee is seriously injured and unable to work, time is of the essence. Just because someone is unable to go to work because of an injury doesn’t mean the bills stop coming in.
Initially the employer denied that our client was an employee of his company, but that contention was quickly dismissed. We conducted a thorough investigation into this matter and had obtained overwhelming evidence to establish that our client was an employee of the business. After a few months of intense negotiations we were able to reach a lump sum settlement for $55,000. The lump sum settlement represented a significant portion of the total and partial disability benefits allowable under the workers’ compensation laws in Massachusetts for this injured employee.
Needless to say, our client was extremely happy with this settlement.