$1.75 Million Settlement for Worker with Broken Arm Injuries After On-the-Job Accident

A 35-year-old union worker in New York was injured in a fall after one of the stilts he was supplied with broke. As a result of his fall, he suffered multiple fractures to his right arm, requiring Open Reduction and Internal Fixation Surgery (ORIF) and Radial head replacement surgery. Represented by Block O'Toole & Murphy, he received a $1,750,000 settlement.

Court and County
Supreme Court, Kings County

Plaintiff Description
At the time of the accident, our client was a 35-year-old non-union laborer hired to perform sheetrock installation.

Description of Case
At the time of the accident, our client was working at a construction project in Brooklyn. The project consisted of the new construction of a five-story residential building. Our client was hired by his employer to perform sheetrock installation and it was his fifth day on the job. His employer provided stilts to their workers to use during the installation of the sheetrock.

When the accident occurred, our client was performing taping work on newly installed sheetrock in the ceiling of an apartment on the 4th floor of the building. He sat on a nearby window ledge to put his stilts on, examining the stilts for defects and finding nothing wrong with them.

He took a step with his right leg, but when he transferred his weight to his right foot in order to take another step, the metal brace on the right stilt that is located on the outside of the leg broke, causing our client to fall. It was determined that the cause of the stilt failure was the screw holding the metal portion.

Our attorneys argued that the failure of the stilt constituted a violation of New York Labor Law 240(1), more popularly known as the Scaffold Law. The Defendants argued that the accident did not occur as the client described, and that the stilt slid out from under him as he was putting it on instead. It was noted that the description of the accident that supported the Defendants' version of events was written in English. Our client does not read English and testified that he never told anyone the stilt slid out from under him.

Injuries
As a result of the accident, our client fell to the ground and landed on his right elbow. He was then taken to Brooklyn Hospital Center where he was diagnosed with a right comminuted fracture of the proximal ulna with multiple fracture fragments in the joint space, a posteriorly and proximally displaced fracture of the radial head and a right olecranon fracture. He was admitted and underwent an Open Reduction and Internal Fixation and Radial Head replacement surgery.

Following discharge, he continued with post-operative care at the hospital and with an orthopedic surgeon. He underwent postoperative therapy and was initially recommended for further surgical intervention. However, due to permanent ligament damage, due to permanent ligament damage, post-traumatic arthritis, scar tissue and subluxation of the humeral joint, it was determined that the risks associated with surgery outweighed potential benefits. Unfortunately, our client was left with permanent weakness, pain and loss of range of motion in the right elbow. Our client is right hand dominant.

If you suffered arm or other fractures as a result of a car crash, work-related accident, slip and fall, or other accident, it's important to understand your legal rights. Dial 212-736-5300 or fill out our Contact Form for a free legal consultation. We serve New York and New Jersey.

Settlement Amount
$1,750,000

Handling Attorneys
The case was handled by Partners Jeffrey A. Block and S. Joseph Donahue.