VANCOUVER, Wash. -- A Clark County jury awarded a welder $947,180 for injuries he suffered when the scaffolding he was on, collapsed.
His name is Charles Pamplin, and he's been a welder since he was 17 years old. He was hired by a subcontractor to work on a BP oil rig in Vancouver. The oil rig was so large, scaffolding surrounded most of it. That scaffolding held up for most of the day.
But when Pamplin went back to retrieve his jacket, the scaffolding collapsed, crushing his foot and shattering his heel. Pamplin said his pain will likely last a lifetime. He now works doing light maintenance at a church.
The scaffolding company, Safway Services, is located in Troutdale. The company did not respond to KGW's phone calls and would not go on camera.
Safway is the same scaffolding company involved in an accident in downtown Portland in March, when heavy winds toppled scaffolding several stories high. Cars below were heavily damaged, but no one was injured.
Investigation begins into collapsed downtown scaffolding
Safway was not cited in that accident and has a perfect safety record in Oregon. They have two safety violations in Washington, including one for Pamplin's accident.
Attorneys argued that Safway was at fault, because Washington law mandates scaffolding be tied down at certain heights. Pamplin was also partially faulted in the accident. Pamplin's attorney, Tom D'Amore, said Pamplin's career is over. He now struggles with daily pain in his left foot.
Pamplin said he hopes the large jury award will help improve safety at construction projects across the Northwest.
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