Jury Awards Two Pennsylvania Men $7.8 Million

Negligence of CONSOL Energy resulted in serious and permanent injury of David Gillingham and Clifford Decker

Pittsburgh, PA - Today in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, PA, a jury found CONSOL Energy, Inc. negligent, and awarded Debra Gillingham and Clifford and Pamela Decker a combined verdict of $7.8 million. The two men sustained serious and permanent injuries in June 2007, when a stairwell on CONSOL Energy property collapsed while they were descending it. According to the plaintiffs' claim, the stairwell collapsed due to lack of proper maintenance.

Gillingham and Decker, who were not CONSOL Energy employees, were working on a test pilot project at CONSOL Energy's research and development site in South Park, PA when the stairwell collapsed. Evidence showed that for nearly 40 years, CONSOL Energy had failed to properly inspect the nut and bolt system that secured the stairwell to a building.

According to John Brown, co-counsel for the Deckers along with Carl Parise, "The jury's verdict appropriately reflected the seriousness of this case. The truth of the matter is that the evidence demonstrated the two plaintiffs' permanent injuries and the serious impact they have on their lives, and the jury took that into account."

The combined verdict totaled $7.8 million, including $3.5 million for pain and suffering. Clifford and Pamela Decker were awarded $5 million, and Debra Gillingham were awarded $2.8 million.

"Despite all that we've been through, we always had faith in the jury system," said David Gillingham. "Today our faith was justified."