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California Employees May Sue Third-Party Vendors for Workplace Injuries

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One recent California personal injury case has seemingly opened the door for employees to hold third-party vendors accountable for their role in workplace injuries. Brought by a woman who tripped over a tripod while catering an event, this serves as a reminder that while you may not be able to sue your employer, you can still hold people accountable. Let’s take a closer look at this case and its potential ramifications.

The Incident

Cynthia Forgays had been a server for Spago restaurant for more than a decade when she was severely injured while catering a charity event in October of 2013. The audio production team darkened the room and set up video tripods in various places. Unfortunately, one of the legs of one tripod jutted into the walkway servers were using to deliver food and drinks, and Forgays didn’t see it. She tripped over it carrying a full tray and suffered deep lacerations in one arm.

The injuries necessitated surgery and over 18 months of physical rehabilitation. Forgays is still unable to clench her right fist and therefore cannot return to her old position. She was making about $50,000 per year at the time of the accident.

The Case

Forgays sued the audio consultant for video production company responsible for the setup and maintenance of the offending equipment, Jorge Vivo. She requested $750,000 in damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and diminished income-earning potential. Vivo then claimed that the venue property owner and the Spago were responsible for the safety of the premises but offered to settle for $45,001. Forgays rejected the settlement offer.

The Verdict

At the conclusion of the week-long trial, the jury voted to award $1,321,511 in damages to Forgays. However, they determined that Spago was 40% responsible for the injury so Forgays will receive $908,440 in economic and noneconomic damages. She did not name her employer in the lawsuit because the company offers workers’ compensation benefits.

Quality Legal Representation Matters

Forgays’ attorneys were able to make a compelling argument that the audio consultant should have anticipated the danger in using black tripods with no visible markings in a dark environment that extended into the walkway. You may have a similar case if you have suffered a premises liability injury due to a third-party vendor’s involvement. The experienced team at Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation can help.

Contact our Murrieta office today at (408) 224-2600 to schedule a free consultation with a trusted and capable personal injury attorney.

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