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Case Example: Unsafe Rooftop or Careless Worker?
When cellular technician Stanley Zarzecki fell off a 10-story building, he wasn’t wearing a safety harness – however, the building’s rooftop provided no fall protection. That was the issue at the heart of this Philadelphia construction accident lawsuit.
Zarzecki was working on the roof of the Walnut Park building in Philadelphia to upgrade Clearwire’s cell antennae, according to the article in The Legal Intelligencer. Clearwire had appointed Excalibur Communications as general contractor. Excalibur hired Champion Communications, Zarzecki’s employer.
It was nighttime, just after a storm had passed, when the Champion workers were on the roof. There were no radios so they had to yell to communicate. The storm had knocked a flagpole onto a fiber cable, and the workers were in the process of moving it when Zarzecki fell to his death. “One of the workers testified in the case that he saw Stanley Zarzecki stand up as if to yell something to the worker and then fell backwards off of the roof, which had no fall protection,” reported the article. The 32-year-old technician left behind a wife and two children.
The defendants argued that Zarzecki was familiar with the roof and should have been more careful. Ken Fulginiti represented Zarzecki’s wife and estate, and countered that the building owner and property manager should have put fall prevention on place, and that Clearwire and Excalibur should have provided fall prevention equipment to its workers. He secured a $4.45 million settlement for Mrs. Zarzecki.
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