$1,000,000 For Plumber Who Fell When His Extension Ladder Slid Out

Supreme Court, Nassau County

Plaintiff was a plumber, who was 41 years old at the time of settlement.

Plaintiff was a plumber hired to inspect gas lines at a two-story Nassau County building that was being prepared to house a medical facility. Plaintiff needed to access HVAC units on the roof, and attempted to reach the roof via an interior roof hatch. In order reach the hatch, Plaintiff positioned an extension ladder on the second floor, leaning it against a cut-out in the ceiling near the hatch. As he was ascending the ladder, the ladder slid out causing Plaintiff and the ladder to fall down to the floor. Plaintiff claimed the building violated Labor Law Section 240(1) by failing the secure the ladder, and that the medical office's manager negligently failed to foot or otherwise brace the bottom of the ladder. The defense argued that the Labor Law did not apply to Plaintiff's type of work, and that Plaintiff was negligent for unsafely positioning the ladder.

As a result of the accident, Plaintiff suffered a left wrist fracture, as well as torn ligaments in both wrists. He underwent an arthroscopic surgery to his right wrist, and a left cubital tunnel release procedure. Plaintiff also suffered a brain injury, and underwent cognitive rehabilitation therapy.

The parties reached a negotiated settlement of $1,000,000. It should be noted that the Defendant building only possessed a $1,000,000 insurance policy.

The case was handled by Partners Stephen J. Murphy and David L. Scher.