$3,200,000 for a Brooklyn Demolition Worker Injured on the Job When a Staircase Broke


Plaintiff, a demolition laborer from Brooklyn, was injured on a construction site at a Manhattan apartment building when a step on the staircase he used to access the building's basement broke underneath the weight of his foot. At the time, he was descending the staircase while carrying a metal piece of equipment on his shoulder weighing about thirty pounds. The step that broke was the second or third step from the bottom of the staircase. Plaintiff's left foot fell through the step and down a distance of approximately two feet to the ground below, causing him to injure his left ankle, lower back and both shoulders. Plaintiff sued the building owner and project general contractor for negligence and violations of the New York State Labor Law, arguing that the Defendants should have been aware that this exterior, wooden staircase was weak and deteriorated based on its history of rotting steps.


Plaintiff continued working for a portion of the day following the incident, but went home that night feeling pain to his left ankle and lower back. He went to the hospital the next day and then began a long course of medical treatment. After physical therapy and injections failed to relieve his lower back pain, he underwent a two-level lumbar fusion surgery. Plaintiff also underwent arthroscopic surgeries to his left ankle and both shoulders following the accident. The defense argued that Plaintiff's injuries existed before the accident, pointing to multiple prior accidents and MRI studies that revealed damage to some of the same body parts. The defense also contested Plaintiff's claim that he was disabled by these injuries. We argued on Plaintiff's behalf that, despite any prior damage he may have had, this accident caused further injury and pain, necessitated multiple surgeries and prevented Plaintiff from performing any future physical labor.


The parties negotiated a $3.2 Million settlement well before trial, and in fact while the Plaintiff's lawsuit was still in its discovery phase.

Firm Partners Stephen J. Murphy and David L. Scher handled the case.