Arizona Jury Awards Nearly $6 Million to Volunteer Injured Working on Construction Job Site
Jennings, Haug & Cunningham legal team receives Arizona’s largest
personal injury verdict of 2011
PHOENIX, Ariz.–Jennings Haug Cunningham partners, Ron was permanently injured while volunteering on a construction site in Mexico as part of a four-day mission trip coordinated by two religious organizations. In the case of Ronald and Heather Day v. Amor Ministries and Central Christian Church the jury awarded damages of $5,945,000 to the Days and found Central Christian Church 80% at fault, Amor Ministries 15% at fault, and Ron Day 5% at fault. The two defendants were found negligent and responsible for the serious and permanent injuries sustained by Ron Day.
The case, which was heard in the Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa County before the Honorable Dean Fink, involved the Day family taking a trip coordinated by the defendant organizations to help build homes and a church in Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point), Mexico. On November 12, 2006, while working on the church project, Ron was assigned by Central’s supervisors to assist with construction of the church roof, although he did not have any previous wood-frame roof construction experience. While working, he stepped on a rafter board that could not support his weight, the board broke and Ron fell more than10 feet, his body crashing into the concrete floor below. He landed on his head and back, and sustained severe and permanent injuries. The injuries to his brain were to the frontal and temporal lobes, and landing on his back caused his vertebrae to burst, requiring surgical placement of two rods to fuse five vertebrae together. As a result, Ron has been rendered multiply disabled and permanently suffers from physical and emotional pain, impaired physical functions, diminished mental function, alterations to his personality, and anxiety. Ron’s ability to perform everyday tasks, and enjoy his life at the high levels he knew is forever compromised. In addition, the Days lost the business they had been running since 1993, due to Ron’s inability to work, and keep it going.
“Our clients are high school sweethearts, who enjoyed a wonderful life with their three active children, which will never be the same again because of the negligent conduct of the defendants,” stated our, plaintiffs’ counsel. “By simply meeting minimal safety obligations, and providing safety training and warnings to volunteers, this tragedy would not have occurred.”
“The Days are such caring people who were very involved in their community and church, and focused their lives on helping others. Now, their lives are forever altered,” added, co-counsel for the Days.
Plaintiffs’ counsel argued that the defendants failed to provide a reasonably safe job site; failed to provide reasonably safe materials for use on the project; and failed to reasonably train, supervise and direct volunteers on the project, although the organization intentionally recruited highly-experienced personnel to act as supervisors on these projects.
The large jury verdict will help the Day family pay for the substantial past and future medical expenses required to treat the injuries and compensate for loss of income from losing their business.
About Jennings Haug Cunningham, L.L.P.
Founded in 1937 in Arizona, Jennings Haug Cunningham is a litigation law firm with extensive trial, litigation management, dispute resolution and complex litigation experience. The firm’s 25 attorneys focus in areas of financial institution litigation, construction and contract litigation, personal injury, employment, and municipal risk litigation for businesses and individuals. For more information, visit the firm’s web site at www.jhc-law.com.