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Record settlement awarded in Philadelphia Injury Claim

Posted on November 19th, 2012

Record settlement awarded to man who lost both legs on the job  by Kurt Niland

A 50-year-old Pennsylvania man, described by the Philadelphia Daily News as a “Softhearted ex-Marine” and father of two, recently settled anegligence lawsuit mid-trial against his employer and Caterpillar, Inc., the manufacturer of industrial construction equipment, for $16.25 million. Scott Skirpan of Easton, Penn., lost both of his legs at the Northampton County landfill in a grisly accident in May 2006. Skirpan’s injuries were so horrific that he died twice before being resuscitated.

Skirpan was working his fifth day at a landfill owned by Chrin Brothers, Inc. when a bulldozer operated by another employee backed around a heap of garbage and ran over him.

Skirpan told the Philadelphia Daily News that he figured the bulldozer operator knew what he was doing.

“I was standing there getting ready to back in a truck, and all of a sudden I turned around and this CAT is right on my tail. It was right there, and I couldn’t jump or move or anything. It just plowed me over and sucked me under,” he told the Daily News.

But the operator didn’t know what he was doing. Skirpan’s attorney argued that the landfill ownersdidn’t provide adequate training and that the Caterpillar track loader lacked sufficient rear vision.

With his legs crushed and severed and blood pouring from the main arteries in his legs, Skirpan needed immediate help but none of his coworkers offered him assistance. Clinging to consciousness, Skirpan called 911 himself. He remained on the phone for 12 minutes, first begging for help, then begging the operator to tell his daughter that he loved her.

Emergency workers airlifted Skirpan to St. Luke’s Hospital Trauma Center, where he arrived incardiac arrest. Doctors that treated Skirpan weren’t optimistic about his chances and told Carol, his wife, that he would likely die.

If he did pull through, he’d probably be brain damaged because he was clinically dead when emergency workers performed CPR on him, Skirpan’s doctors said.

Skirpan survived the ordeal, but the fight was far from over. Because garbage had been ground into the open wounds of his legs at the time of the accident, Skirpan developed painful, life-threatening infections. In a series of 11 surgeries, surgeons removed Skirpan’s right leg and part of his right hip and most of his left leg.

Back at home, Skirpan is trying to adjust to life without his legs, exercising and rehabbing frequently throughout the day. One of the first things he plans to do with his settlement, he told the Daily News, is buy a new single-level home that’s handicapped friendly.  Skirpan’s settlement is one of the largest single-victim personal-injury settlements in Pennsylvania history.

Learn more about getting a fair financial settlement on your personal injury claim by contacting the trusted, experienced personal injury lawyers at Ciccarelli Lawyers.   Ciccarelli Lawyers represent injured clients throughout Pennsylvania including suburban Philadelphia, West Chester and Chester County PA.  Contact us toll free at (877) 529-2422.