Colorado Electrical contractor Excel Electric was ordered to pay a former construction worker $16 million after he was electrocuted on the job, leaving him with lifelong disabilities.
Brian Warembourg was working at a new construction site in Berthoud, Colorado, when he noticed there was no power source for his tools. He went to the breaker box to see if he could resolve the issue. Instead, it exploded, sending an electrical charge through his hands. “We believe it exited through a metal bracelet I had on my wrist,” he told Denver7.
Warembourg said he felt like he had died when he was electrocuted. He survived, but now suffers from flashes of stabbing pain through his legs and arms. He was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome, for which he will need expensive, lifelong medication.
Excel Electric blamed the accident on Warembourg and his employer. The company also destroyed the electrical box before a cause of the explosion could be determined. His case went to trial. A jury sided with Warembourg, awarding him $16 million for past and future wage losses, medical care, and pain and suffering.
“I would wish this upon no one, what I’ve had to go through,” he said.
Excel Electric declined comment about the ruling when contacted by Denver7.
Electrocutions are one of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s so-called “Fatal Four” causes of death on the job for construction workers. Other causes include falls, struck by object, and caught-in/between. More than one-fifth of on the job fatalities are among construction workers. Eliminating the Fatal Four would save 631 of 991 workers’ lives in America.