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Saturday, October 15, 2016

Volunteer files lawsuit vs. Habitat

By DAMIEN FISHER
Staff Writer

NASHUA - The Merrimack man injured in a fall from a roof while volunteering for Greater Nashua Habitat for Humanity is suing the organization, claiming the scaffolding from which he fell was installed incorrectly.

Carl Ellis, a 49-year-old father of four, is now totally disabled from the 2014 accident, according to the lawsuit filed in the Hillsborough County Superior Court in Nashua on Friday. He shattered both of his femurs falling from the 20-foot-high scaffold, as well as sustaining a concussion and left shoulder injury, the lawsuit states. ...

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NASHUA - The Merrimack man injured in a fall from a roof while volunteering for Greater Nashua Habitat for Humanity is suing the organization, claiming the scaffolding from which he fell was installed incorrectly.

Carl Ellis, a 49-year-old father of four, is now totally disabled from the 2014 accident, according to the lawsuit filed in the Hillsborough County Superior Court in Nashua on Friday. He shattered both of his femurs falling from the 20-foot-high scaffold, as well as sustaining a concussion and left shoulder injury, the lawsuit states.

Court documents indicate that in the time since the accident, Ellis has racked up close to $600,000 in medical bills and is unable to work. His wife, Amber Ellis, was forced to quit her job to care for her husband, the lawsuit states.

Ellis is represented by Bedford attorney Rus Rilee.

Jennifer Lorrain, the Greater Nashua Habitat for Humanity executive director, declined to comment on the lawsuit when contacted Friday, saying she had yet to see a copy.

"We are aware of it, and Carl was a wonderful volunteer of ours," she said.

Rilee states in the lawsuit that the organization did not have, nor was it abiding by, any written safety policy for volunteers or staff at the time of the accident. Ellis was volunteering on a Habitat project in Nashua in November 2014. He was helping with the roof, according to the lawsuit.

On the day of the accident, Rilee writes in the lawsuit, the scaffolding that Ellis used to get up and down from the roof was put together incorrectly and was unsafe to use. It was not inspected on the day of the accident by the contractors overseeing the volunteer work before it was used, Rilee writes.

As Ellis stepped down from the roof and onto the scaffolding, it gave way and collapsed, sending Ellis to the ground, the lawsuit states.

Greater Nashua Habitat for Humanity suspended its projects after the accident and reportedly conducted a safety review, according to Rilee.

Ellis is suing Greater Nashua Habitat for Humanity, Habitat for Humanity International and officials with the organization, as well as the paid contractors overseeing the project, citing negligence. The lawsuit is requesting a jury trial in the matter.

Damien Fisher can be reached at 594-6531 or dfisher@nashuatelegraph.com.