$5,585,000 Jury Verdict For Undocumented Worker in Construction Fall

DESCRIPTION OF CASE:
Plaintiff, a spanish speaking 35 year old non-union laborer, was working at a construction project in Astoria, Queens.

At the time of the accident, Plaintiff was told to stand on a ladder on top of a scaffold so he could paint a ceiling beam. The Plaintiff was elevated between fifteen and eighteen feet. Plaintiff and the ladder he was on fell to the ground because the scaffold was unsteady.

Plaintiff successfully moved for summary judgment on the issue of liability pursuant to Labor Law 240(1), rendering the case a "damages-only" trial.

INJURIES/DAMAGES:
As a result of this incident, Plaintiff suffered a right wrist fracture and disc herniations to the L3-L5 levels of his lumbar spine. Plaintiff had an open reduction and internal fixation to his wrist.

Plaintiff also underwent a lumbar spine fusion to levels L3-4 and L4-5 due to pain caused by the disc herniations at those levels. As a result of his injuries, Plaintiff continued to experience pain to his back and right wrist. Plaintiff had not returned to work following his accident. Plaintiff did not pursue a lost wage claim for various reasons.

VERDICT/SETTLEMENT AMOUNT:
The jury returned a verdict for $5,585,000.

NOTE:
The case was handled by Stephen J. Murphy, a partner with the firm.