Non-union Electrician’s Helper Awarded $3,000,000 for Injuries Sustained in Ladder and Scaffold Collapse

COURT AND COUNTY
Supreme Court, Bronx County

AGE AND OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF
Plaintiff was a 30 year old non- union electrician's helper at the time of the accident.

DESCRIPTION OF OCCURRENCE
At the time of the accident, Plaintiff was working as an electrician's helper on a project for the renovation of a commercial space to be used as a restaurant in Manhattan.

Plaintiff was helping an electrician run electrical conduit through a 20 foot high ceiling between the first floor and second floor. In order to gain access to the ceiling, an A-frame ladder was placed on top of a 10-foot scaffold, with the ladder in a closed position, leaning against the inside of the access hole in the ceiling. The electrician climbed up the scaffold and ladder, gained access to the ceiling and requested Plaintiff hand him a piece of cable. Plaintiff climbed the scaffold and attempted to give the electrician the cable, however he was unable to reach, so Plaintiff climbed several steps onto the ladder. While Plaintiff was standing on the ladder, the electrician stepped down onto the ladder to take the cable and the ladder and scaffold collapsed. Plaintiff fell 14-16 feet to the ground.

Plaintiff claimed Defendants violated Labor Law 240(1) in failing to provide proper equipment of sufficient height to allow workers to gain access to the ceiling. Defendants claimed the accident did not occur as Plaintiff alleged and that they did not violate Labor Law 240(1).

DAMAGES
Following the accident, Plaintiff remained on the worksite for the remainder of the day. The following day, Plaintiff presented to a hospital with complaints of right knee pain. Plaintiff was evaluated and released. Approximately one week later, Plaintiff went back to the hospital with continued right knee pain and low back pain. Plaintiff was again treated and released.

Plaintiff attempted to return to work for several days following his accident, but was unable to continue working due to right knee and low back pain.

Thereafter, Plaintiff came under the care of a Physiatrist and began a course of conservative care, including physical therapy and chiropractic care. When his symptoms persisted Plaintiff underwent an MRI to the right knee that revealed a partial tear of the ACL and a tear of the medial meniscus. An MRI of the lumbar spine revealed a disc herniation at L5/S1.

Due to ongoing pain and symptoms, Plaintiff ultimately underwent an ACL reconstruction. The ACL graft later failed and Plaintiff required a second ACL reconstruction surgery. Due to ongoing low back pain, Plaintiff also underwent a lumbar fusion surgery at L4/5.

Despite undergoing the surgeries, Plaintiff continued to experience low back pain and right knee pain. Plaintiff continued to undergo periodic physical therapy. Plaintiff has not returned to work, but anticipates returning to the workforce in the future. Plaintiff was not making a claim for loss of future earnings.

RESULT
The matter was settled prior to trial by partners Jeffrey A. Block and S. Joseph Donahue