$3,300,000 Settlement For a Union Laborer Struck By Falling Angle Irons In A Westchester County Case

Court and County

Supreme Court, Westchester County

Accident Description

This accident occurred during a renovation project at the Mamaroneck Wastewater Treatment Plant in Westchester County, NY. Plaintiff was a union laborer employed by a subcontractor. We filed suit against the plant owner and general contractor, alleging violations of New York Labor Law Section 240(1). The project included rehabilitating a tower structure at the plant that was 4 stories tall, and which was surrounded by scaffolding on the morning of the accident. Plaintiff and his co-workers were tasked with hoisting a number of angle irons, which weighed approximately 25 pounds each, from the ground up to the top of the tower, where they would be used to reinforce the tower. Plaintiff was at ground level attaching the angle irons to the hoist. We claimed, with support from a construction safety expert, that Plaintiff was provided with an inadequate strap with which to safely attach the irons. While 3 of the angle irons were being hoisted together, they suddenly fell down and struck Plaintiff on the lower part of his left leg. The defense argued that Plaintiff caused the accident by tying a bad knot in the strap. An appeal of a trial court decision regarding liability was pending at the time of settlement.

Injury Summary

Plaintiff suffered a left bimalleolar ankle fracture, which was surgically treated with open reduction and internal fixation. Plaintiff also suffered left foot injuries including tarsometatarsal joint disruption at the first and second rays and factures of the third and fourth rays, which was also addressed with open reduction fixation surgery. Plaintiff also sustained a lumbar spine injury, for which he ultimately underwent a back surgery that did not involve any hardware. We claimed that Plaintiff's injuries prevented him from returning to his former union construction work, and would accordingly substantially reduce his future earnings. The defense disputed the severity of Plaintiff's injuries and challenged whether Plaintiff's back injury was related to this accident.

Result

Despite the defenses to the case and its notoriously defense-friendly venue of Westchester County, we were able to secure a $3,300,000 settlement for our client prior to trial.

Handling Attorneys

Partners Stephen J. Murphy and David L. Scher