SUMMARY OF CASE
On Aug. 30, 2005, our client, a 40-year-old electrician, was working in a Federal Express warehouse located at 300 Maspeth Avenue in Brooklyn. He and a co-worker were assigned to the area to repair various high bay lighting fixtures that were attached to the ceiling of the loading dock area, and which were not functioning. In order to reach one of the fixtures, he climbed a 28-foot aluminum extension ladder. While working on the fixture, he was caused to fall approximately 14 to 16 feet and landed on his head.
Our client alleged the defendant violated the Labor Law, claiming that he was not provided with any protection as he climbed the 28-foot ladder and that while he was in the course of his duties he received an electric shock, causing him to fall.
The court granted the motion for summary judgment on liability.
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Injuries included blunt force trauma to the head; unconsciousness; fracture, skull; hemorrhage; contusions; swelling; catheterization; fracture, L1; fracture, L2; fracture, L3; fracture, L4; fracture, L5; fracture, multiple ribs (bilaterally); lung, puncture; internal bleeding
Following the fall, our client was rendered unconscious after landing on his head. He was found at the scene bleeding from his mouth, ears and head. He was subsequently rushed from the scene by ambulance to Elmhurst Hospital Center, where he was diagnosed with numerous injuries, including skull fractures and brain hemorrhaging, contusions and swelling. He also suffered fractures to five levels of the thoracic spine and to the L1, L2, L3, L4 and L5 levels of the vertebrae. In addition, he suffered multiple rib fractures, bilateral punctured lungs and significant internal bleeding.
At the hospital, an intracranial pressure monitor was inserted operatively through a burr hole in his skull. He also had to be inserted with endotracheal, nasogastric and chest tubes, as well as with a subclavian central venous line and foley catheter. He ultimately required regular cognitive rehabilitation therapy and psychotherapy.
Our client claimed that his most significant injury was to his brain, which he alleged resulted in severe cognitive deficits and psychological sequelae. He further claimed that he continues to suffer from severe memory loss, confusion and depression as a result of his injuries. In addition, he alleged that he has difficulty performing even basic daily functions. He contended that he has been totally and permanently disabled and unable to work as a result of his injuries. He also argued that he will require regular home attendant visits and ongoing medical treatment indefinitely.
The parties negotiated a $5.5 million pretrial settlement
Firm attorneys Stephen J. Murphy and David L. Scher handled the case.