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Elevator Mechanic Gets $11.7 Million

An elevator mechanic received a jury award for $11.7 million this week, the largest personal injury settlement in Marin County history.

After three days' deliberation, the jury awarded the money to David Travis, who suffered a back injury in 2007 while employed as a construction worker at the site of an Extended Stay hotel in San Rafael.

While employed at the site, 38-year-old Travis, who is 6'1", was required to carry heavy tools and other equipment under scaffolding with clearance a foot lower than what is required under California law.

He allegedly hit his head on a number of occasions, causing him to suffer herniated discs in his neck and back that compressed his spinal cord.

After only two months on the job, Travis suffered near-paralysis, according to expert testimony.

The defendants, Bison Builders of Spokane, Washington, and Kenyon Plastering, an Arizona contractor, argued that Travis' condition was exacerbated because he failed to seek medical attention for two months after sustaining the injury.