It’s been nearly five years since Charles Pamplin’s foot was crushed in a construction site accident.
Charles was a welder with 30 years experience when he was contracted to work on a Clark County, Washington construction site. The project was massive: assembling a new oil rig for BP.
A dangerous construction site and a scaffold failure
Charles had been working on the Vancouver, Washington construction site for a month when the scaffolding he was working on toppled over.
He tried to jump from the falling scaffold, and landed on his heel. Charles’ foot was shattered. He laid on the ground for over an hour before anyone on the job site called 9-1-1.
Safway Corporation had just a few workers in charge of erecting, inspecting and dismantling nearly 100 scaffolds.
No one had secured the scaffolding to the structure.
There were no safety or warning signs to prevent workers from using it.
The handful of construction site workers who managed the scaffolding had left for the day without completing their jobs.
Incomplete scaffolding – or any other short-cut taken on a construction site – puts workers in danger.”
This was an enormous construction project. There is absolutely no excuse for a safety lapse of this magnitude.
Justice from the jury
Charles is now 51 years old. His foot injury is permanent and debilitating. His welding career is over. His entire life has changed—and all of this could have been prevented if scaffolding had simply been built and secured correctly.
Still, the companies in charge of the work site refused to take responsibility.
Charles chose to go to trial.
After the six-day trial in Clark County, the jury deliberated for just a few hours. They awarded Charles $947,180 for the construction site accident.
Charles hopes that the verdict will send a message to huge construction companies: there are real consequences to endangering your workers’ lives and livelihoods.
Thanks to D’Amore Law Group attorney Doug Oh-Keith and paralegal Dan Doede, as well as co-counsel attorney Greg Price, for their hard work on Pamplin v. Safway et al.
See more photos and additional coverage of this case in the Oregonian: Clark County jury awards Louisiana welder $950,000 after scaffold collapse