$1,100,000 SETTLEMENT FOR UNION IRONWORKER WHO LOST PART OF HIS FINGERTIPS IN A CONSTRUCTION SITE ACCIDENT

DATE OF SETTLEMENT

6/8/17

COURT AND COUNTY

Supreme Court, Bronx County

AGE AND OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF

Plaintiff was 46 years old on the date of the accident. Plaintiff was a union Local 580 Journeyman ironworker when the accident occurred.

FACTS AND ALLEGATIONS

This case involved an accident that occurred on August 8, 2012, in which the Plaintiff, a union Journeyman ironworker, was working on a construction project on the roof of the Bronx County Criminal Courthouse. In the course of his work on this project, which included building a steel dunnage to support a large air conditioning unit, Plaintiff and his two co-workers were required to lift and transport, a distance of at least 20-30 feet, steel grating weighing more than 600 pounds by hand-without a crane, hoist or any safety device-when the steel grating fell and injured Plaintiff's right hand, severing two of his fingers.

Plaintiff alleged that the defendants, the building owner and general contractor of the construction site, violated New York State Labor Law sections 240(1), 241(6) and 200 and sections of the New York State Industrial Code in failing to provide a proper safety device to protect Plaintiff from being injured by the downward force of the heavy steel grating he and his co-workers were lifting and transporting. Plaintiff alleged that the violations of these Labor Law sections and the application sections of the Industrial Code were the proximate cause of Plaintiff's accident and resulting injuries.

INJURIES/DAMAGES

As a result of the accident, the Plaintiff suffered an amputation of the tip of his right ring finger and partial amputation of the tip of his right middle finger along with comminuted fractures of the distal phalanx of the right ring finger and right middle finger. He underwent surgery to repair the amputation of the right ring finger. Subsequent to this accident, the injury to his hand also caused him to mishandle a stairway railing and fall down a set of stairs and fracture his ankle.

Plaintiff was employed as a union Local 580 Journeyman ironworker at the time of the accident. As a result of the accident he was disabled from all employment for 3 ½ years. He then returned to work in construction, mostly in a supervisory capacity and not as a union ironworker due to the injuries to his hand.

Plaintiff made claims for past and future medical expenses. Plaintiff also made a claim for past and future lost wages and union benefits. The claim for future lost wages and union benefits was supported by the Plaintiff's treating orthopedic surgeon and vocational rehabilitation expert, who opined that Plaintiff could not return to work as a union ironworker. Plaintiff's expert economist calculated the lost wages and benefits applying annual growth rates. Plaintiff also made claims for past and future pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

SETTLEMENT AMOUNT

The parties negotiated a $1,100,000 pretrial settlement with the assistance of an independent mediator.

ATTORNEYS

This case was handled by Daniel P. O'Toole, Esq. and Frederick C. Aranki, Esq.