$1,475,000 for a Brooklyn produce delivery man, whose head, neck and shoulder were injured after a piece of equipment was dropped from a roof and struck him

Brooklyn Man Recovers After Being Struck By A Piece Of Equipment The Fell From A Roof

Settlement $1,475,000
Date 12/13/13

Attorneys from Block O'Toole & Murphy:
David L. Scher & Stephen J. Murphy

Facts & Allegations

This incident occurred as Plaintiff was walking back to his work van, after having made a delivery of produce to the East Bay Restaurant located at 29th Street and 1st Avenue in Manhattan. A maintenance worker from an adjacent building, who was employed by the Defendant, was working on the roof replacing the motor of a roof fan. The motor slipped from the worker's hands as he was preparing to install it, and it fell over the ledge of the roof, dropping approximately 25 feet and landing on the Plaintiff's head and right shoulder. Plaintiff moved for summary judgment on the issue of liability, and Defendant conceded liability while the motion was pending. As such, the case would have proceeded to a damages-only trial had it not settled.

Injuries/Damages

Plaintiff momentarily lost consciousness from the impact to his head, but regained consciousness and was fully alert and oriented by the time paramedics responded. Plaintiff was transported to Bellevue Hospital, where a CT Scan of his head revealed a right temporal bone fracture and acute right epidural hematoma. Plaintiff underwent a brain surgery on the day of the accident, consisting of right temporal craniotomy for evacuation of epidural hematoma, and the skull fracture was addressed with sutures and titanium screws. Plaintiff was released from Bellevue 3 days after the accident.

Plaintiff began experiencing neck and right shoulder pain, and underwent a course of physical therapy and acupuncture treatments. A Cervical Spine MRI revealed a herniated disc at C6/7 and a bulging disc at C5/6. A right shoulder MRI showed a posterior superior labrum tear. Plaintiff ultimately underwent an arthroscopic surgery to his right shoulder where the labrum tear was debrided, and an outpatient procedure to his neck consisting of percutaneous disc decompression at the C5/6 and C6/7 levels. Plaintiff underwent a brief course of cognitive therapy treatments, which led to significant improvements.

Plaintiff returned to full time employment about 2 months after the accident, and continued operating his produce business. Plaintiff ceased all medical treatment related to these injuries in July of 2012, about 1 and ½ years prior to settlement.

The defense conceded that Plaintiff suffered injuries to his head, but disputed the alleged neck and right shoulder injuries. They argued that Plaintiff's head and shoulder injuries had completely resolved, as evidenced by Plaintiff returning to full time employment and stopping all medical treatment. The defense's expert neurologist found that Plaintiff had no evidence of cognitive dysfunction, and the defense orthopedist found that Plaintiff's neck and right shoulder injuries and surgeries were unrelated to this incident.

Plaintiff had no lost earnings claim, but made claims for past and future medical expenses, as well as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

The case settled approximately 1 month prior to trial, and during a private mediation, for $1,475,000.

Result

The parties negotiated a $1,475,000 pretrial settlement