On May 31, 2007, Plaintiff, a union elevator erector, was walking along the roof of the Plaza Hotel in New York City, which was being renovated at the time. He was on his way to the elevator shaft located on the roof, pursuant to his foreman's instruction. While walking, he stepped onto a piece of plywood which was covering a three foot by three foot hole. When he stepped onto the plywood, it shifted, causing the Plaintiff's left knee to strike the left edge of the hole and his right shoulder and elbow to strike the right edge of the hole. The plywood fell to the floor below but the plaintiff was able to curl himself into a ball, preventing him from falling approximately 12 feet below. The Plaintiff was able to extricate himself from the hole. Plaintiff moved for summary judgment, pursuant to Labor Law Section 240 (1). The motion was granted by Justice Paul Wooten.
The Plaintiff refused medical attention at the scene and took the subway home to Queens. The next day he presented to a walk in medical clinic in his neighborhood where he made complaints of left knee pain only. The following Wednesday, June 6, 2010 (One week after the accident) he presented to a chiropractor where he made back and neck complaints for the first time. He was eventually referred to an orthopedist where he made complaints of right shoulder pain and right elbow pain. The MRI of the knee revealed no tears or abnormalities but based on clinical complaints, the orthopedic surgeon decided to perform an arthroscopy on his left knee, which revealed a lateral meniscus tear and chondromalacia. He was referred out for a shoulder MRI as well, which revealed a SLAP tear and necessitated a shoulder arthroscopy. An EMG of the left elbow revealed cubital tunnel syndrome which lead to Mr. Turk having a cubital tunnel release on his right elbow. An MRI of his lumbar spine revealed a bulging disc at L5-S1. Mr. Turk attempted conservative treatment measures such as chiropractic, physical therapy and both trigger point and epidural injections to his lower spine, with no relief. As a result, he had a L5-S1 anterior and posterior fusion performed on October 20, 2009.
The case was handled by Daniel O'Toole of Block O'Toole & Murphy.