Michael Goforth - Goforth & Lucas Law Partnership

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Michael Goforth

Goforth & Lucas Law Partnership

2300 Clayton Rd., Suite 1460

Concord, CA 94520

925-682-9500

Practice Areas
  • Personal Injury
  • Arbitrator
  • Mediator
  • Workers Comp
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Michael D. Goforth is a mediator and principal attorney of Goforth & Lucas Law Partnership. Mike handles injury litigation and workers' compensation claims. "I represent primarily workers who have been severely injured in construction/work site accidents. Many cases involve civil court law suits against third parties such as a sub-contractor or law suits against illegally uninsured employers".

APRIL 30, 2009 SETTLEMENT

Docket/File No: Confidential, filed June, 2007
Court/Branch: Contra Costa Superior Unlimited Jurisdiction, Martinez, CA
Case Name: Gary Taylor v. Confidential Refinery Defendants
Judge: Hon. Barbara Zuñiga, Dept 2
Mediator: Hon. Raul A. Ramirez (Ret), Sacramento, CA
Date of Settlement: April 30, 2009
Type of case: Industrial/negligence
Settlement amount: $1,500,000.00. This case settled following one full day of mediation. The settlement was a third party Compromise and Release wherein intervenor agreed to waive its $322,614.17 industrial lien.
Plaintiff counsel: Michael D. Goforth, Goforth & Lucas Law Partnership, 2300 Clayton Rd., Suite 1460, Concord, CA; Phone: 925-682-9500; Fax: 925-682-2353; email mdg@goforthlucas.com. Mr. Goforth also represented the plaintiff in the workers’ compensation claim (OAK) filed October 26, 2006.

Facts
On August 3, 2006, plaintiff, then 51, was working as a pipefitter for Timec Company, Inc. inside of the Martinez, CA flexicoker reactor, during a refinery “turnaround” (shutdown).
The reactor is a multi-story cylinder with a circular metal dipleg (pipe) running vertically through its center.
The scaffold within the reactor consisted of steel planks connected in a rectangular configuration around the dipleg which left a gap between the metal planks and the dipleg. The scaffold company covered the gap with wooden planks and plywood to prevent workers  from falling through the scaffold deck in the areas near the dipleg..
At the beginning of his shift plaintiff entered the reactor and began looking for a power source to connect his electric grinding tools. When plaintiff stepped near the dipleg, a wooden board gave way and plaintiff’s right leg plunged through the deck to waist level.
Plaintiff’s left leg hyperflexed under his weight. Plaintiff was able to halt his downward plummet by his elbows, shoulders, and large body size which kept him from passing entirely through to the floor below. Plaintiff fell forward with a twisting motion onto both hands and arms. He was able to get himself out of the hole and down a 7 foot ladder. First aid was rendered on site and plaintiff tried to continue working over the next several days, but noted progressive pain in his left knee. Within a few days of the accident plaintiff also complained of soreness all over as well as localized pain to his right shoulder.
Plaintiff’s contentions:
1.)   Scaffold Co. failed to safely build and maintain the scaffold that the plaintiff was using;
2.)   Owner operator of the reactor, failed to protect the integrity of the work site or insure project safety;
3.)   Employer, Timec failed to inspect the worksite or properly train its workers.
4.)   Plaintiff could never return to work as a pipefitter as a result of his injuries.
Defendants’ contentions:
1.) Plaintiff was inattentive to an open and obvious hole in the scaffold;
2.) Scaffold Co. was not liable since it appeared that one of the contractors working on the project modified the scaffold;
3.) Plaintiff’s back injuries were non-industrial since the medical file doesn’t mention plaintiff’s back complaints until some 5 weeks post-accident;  
4.) Premises owner had no liability because Scaffold Co. was responsible for the scaffold construction.     
Intervenor’s contentions:
1.)   There is no evidence that the employer did anything or failed to do something that caused the subject accident;
2.)   Intervenor is entitled to full reimbursement of benefits paid (medical $231,259.14, indemnity $91,355.03) pursuant to LC § 3850, et seq.
3.)   Any comparative fault assessed against the plaintiff may not be imputed to the employer.
 

Professional
 
Undergraduate: UC Berkeley
Law School: Wayne State University
Admitted to Bar:
Practice Areas: Arbitrator
Personal > Personal Injury
Mediator
Personal > Workers Comp
Organizations: California Bar Association
   
Personal
 
Gender: Male
Status: Married
Children: 2 Children
Age:
City of Residence: Walnut Creek
Home Town: Oakland
Home State: CA
   
Interests
 
My Interests My Doberman, Von
My Politics: Liberal
My Choice For President: Barack Obama
Favorite Justice: Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Favorite Books: Code of Civil Procedure
Favorite Movies: Shawshank Redemption
Favorite Music: Rock
Favorite Restaurants: Bay Area
Favorite Travel: Bay Area
Favorite Quote: It ain't over 'till it's over.
About Me: Serving clients in Concord, Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Pittsburg, Bay Point, Walnut Creek, Oakland, San Francisco, Orinda, Lafayette, San Ramon, Bay Area. Dogmatic.
   

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