Conn. Jury Awards $32 Million to Injured Construction Worker

December 12, 2005

A Waterbury, Conn. jury has awarded $32.1 million to a Bristol construction worker paralyzed in an accident more than a decade ago.

Norman Pelletier, 54, was permanently paralyzed below the chest when a steal beam at a Shelton construction site broke loose and hit him. Although he cannot move the lower part of his body, he can still feel pain from his injuries.

Pelletier won the right to sue Sordoni Skanska Construction of New Jersey in a precedent-setting state Supreme Court case two years ago. Sordoni had argued that because Pelletier worked for one of its subcontractors, Berlin Steel Construction Co., it could not be held responsible for his injuries.

Sordoni Skanska attorneys said they plan to appeal.

If that appeal fails, Pelletier could receive an additional $8 million in interest because the company rejected his offer to settle the case for $6 million several years ago.

The case, which was in court for 10 years, ended after five weeks of testimony in Waterbury Superior Court.

About $28.3 million of the $32.1 million is for medical costs and other damages, such as pain and suffering. The rest is for Reine Pelletier’s losses.

When Pelletier was injured in June 1994, he worked for Berlin Steel Construction Co., a subcontractor for Sordoni Skanska on an expansion project at a Pitney Bowes facility in Shelton.

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