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$4.75 Million Settlement in Virginia Jail Construction Accident Case

$4.75 Million Settlement in Virginia Jail Construction Accident Case

On June 26, 2008, Electric Power Systems, Inc. (EPS) entered into a $4.75 million settlement in a lawsuit brought by electrician Larry Shifflett, 53, who was seriously injured during construction of the River Regional Jail.

Shifflett was working on the jail’s construction site on January 19, 2005 when he was injured while trying to connect a ground cable to a switchboard. The cable slipped, hit an energized section of the switchboard and generated a 10,000° arc flash, causing third-degree burns over Shifflett’s upper torso and both arms. Shifflett’s medical bills were around $750,000 and he suffered $165,000 in lost wages.

Shifflett filed suit in federal district court against EPS alleging the arc would not have occurred but for improper breaker settings on the EPS switchboard. EPS claimed the settings were within code and Shifflett bore partial responsibility for not de-energizing the equipment, ignoring warning signs and not wearing protective clothing required by OSHA standards. Shifflett contested those allegations.

The jury found in Shifflett’s favor on liability. EPS then settled the suit for $4.75 million. Prior to trial, Shifflett had offered to settle for $3.5 million and EPS had countered with a $100,000 offer. Shifflett was represented by Charlottesville attorneys L.B. Chandler, Jr., Steven P. Hammond and Thomas H. Oxenham, III. See: Shifflett v. Electric Power Systems, Inc., USDC-WD VA, Case No. 5:06-CV-127.

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Related legal case

Shifflett v. Electric Power Systems, Inc.