IronWorker Awarded Penalties Against Employer ($2.4 Million)

A union IronWorker recovered $2.4 million after suffering a neck fusion following a fall from an iron beam.

The Case

The insurance carrier for Area Erectors, Zurich American Insurance, cut off the IronWorker’s weekly workers compensation benefits, leaving him injured and without any benefits.

In-Depth Look

No treating physician agreed that the IronWorker was better or ready to work, yet the carrier cut off benefits anyway. The insurance carrier tried to argue that because the IronWorker was hurt many years ago, they could simply cut off his benefits. Mitchell Horwitz, head of the Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates workers compensation department, filed an emergency petition and tried the case.

Benefits were ordered to be restarted and penalties were awarded against Area Erectors for their bad faith in the cutting off of the IronWorker’s benefits. Area Erectors was ordered to pay a penalty of $94,000 for cutting off the benefits without a reasonable basis. 19(b) emergency petitions may require the petitioner’s law firm to try the case more than once. First, we have to try the case to get benefits restarted. Later, we have to try the case in order to determine permanency.

In this particular case, the IronWorker had a third party negligence case as well. The IronWorker ended up recovering approximately $2.4 million in the end.