The Brockton-based company has paid large settlements in recent years in at least three lawsuits brought by workers who got hurt on the job and blamed JDC and other contractors.
In one case, Alvaro Ramirez was removing asbestos at a site that would become the Godfrey Hotel in Boston’s theater district, when a waterlogged ceiling collapsed on him.
“As the project went along, there started to be signs that the plaster ceilings were being damaged,” said David McCormack, the Ramirez family’s lawyer. But those in charge did not address the issue, he said, and a giant chunk of debris fell on Ramirez.
“It was about 15 feet by 22 feet, and the estimate that was developed in our case was that it weighed approximately 3,000 pounds,” McCormack said, adding the debris splintered a bone in Ramirez’s lower spine. Ramirez lived in pain and was never able to work again, McCormack said; his family received an undisclosed settlement in 2018 from JDC and the main contractor, Tishman Construction.
In this and other cases, JDC has maintained it was not at fault.
The company has done many major demolition projects, including tearing down the iconic Filene’s building in downtown Boston, a project it worked on with Suffolk Construction. A worker sued JDC and Suffolk for an injury in 2014 on that project, after falling on debris, according to a lawsuit.
JDC in its response to the suit said it “fully complied with all of its contractual terms with Suffolk Construction and that all demolition was conducted in a professional and workmanlike manner with all demolition debris being properly cleaned up.”
But the parties settled the case in 2019, paying the worker, Eric Mansfield, $300,000.
In a third case, a worker slipped and fell and received a $300,000 settlement after shattering his ankle.
Chris Berardi, chief executive of JDC, did not respond to a request for comment. The company’s general counsel, Andrew Daniels, declined to comment on the Government Center Garage collapse.