Jury Awards Injured Worker $2 Million in Damages For Skylight Accident

February 24, 2016 – An Orange County jury awarded a Fullerton man who plunged through a skylight onto a cement floor almost $2 million in damages Wednesday for the accident that left him with a severe head injury, facial fractures and broken ribs. The Orange County Superior Court jury found two companies responsible for the injuries suffered by the 41-year old man.

This photo shows the unguarded and unprotected skylight that was not strong enough to support Mr. Recio's weight and, consequently, he fell right through the roof. (PRNewsFoto/Robinson Calcagnie Robinson Sha)

This photo shows the unguarded and unprotected skylight that was not strong enough to support the plaintiff’s weight and, consequently, he fell right through the roof.

The injured man had been asked by an air conditioning company to pick up and haul away scrap metal on the roof of a building owned by the defendant. On February 28, 2012, the plaintiff was grabbing a piece of metal on top of the building in Santa Ana when he tripped and fell backwards through a plastic skylight and plunged 20-feet onto a cement floor below.

At trial, the injured man’s attorney, Scot Wilson of the Newport Beach law firm Robinson Calcagnie, Inc., argued the accident was preventable. “My client’s life was upended in a blink of an eye because of an unsafe and negligently maintained skylight,” Wilson said. “This dangerous condition was left unguarded, unprotected and did not meet the requirements of standards and codes that apply to skylights,” he said.

The plaintiff’s legal team, which included Wilson and Henry Pan, also contended the defendant failed to properly maintain the roof which created a trip hazard and the skylight had no protective screens or warning signs.

The plaintiff’s lawyers successfully argued that the building owner was responsible for his injuries. A jury found the building owner 65% at fault and the air conditioning company 35% liable.

The plaintiff’s lawyers say falls through skylights are an all-too-common workplace hazard. “Our firm is currently litigating several more of these skylight injury cases,” said the firm’s senior partner, Mark Robinson. “We hope this verdict sends a strong message to building owners to take this risk seriously by safeguarding and maintaining skylights,” said Robinson.

Robinson Calcagnie, Inc. is a firm of more than 20 lawyers who concentrate in class actions, mass tort and personal injury litigation.  For more information about the firm and an evaluation of your potential case, please visit the firm’s website at www.robinsonfirm.com or call toll-free at (888) 348-8855.