$3,500,000 Settlement for Pedestrian Struck by Falling Limestone Cement in Manhattan

COURT AND COUNTY

New York Supreme, New York

AGE AND OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF

At the time of the accident, the Plaintiff was 31-years-old and employed as a porter and assistant superintendent at a residential building in Carnegie Hill.

DESCRIPTION OF CASE

While walking down Park Avenue on June 28, 2000, Plaintiff was struck on the head and neck by a piece of limestone cement that fell from a penthouse on the 10th story of an apartment. The incident occurred on the sidewalk at 1175 Park Avenue in New York. The cement was dislodged during the installation of coping stones into the penthouse's exterior surface.

Plaintiff sued the building's owner and the job's general contractor. Plaintiff alleged that the contractor should have erected a sidewalk shed to protect pedestrians. He contended that the failure to provide such protection violated the Industrial Code regulations that premise Labor Law § 241(6).

INJURIES/DAMAGES

The Plaintiff sustained a head laceration, which was closed with sutures. He claimed that the injury caused him to suffer from headaches, dizziness, and neck and lower-back pain, which radiated to his upper and lower extremities.

Plaintiff also claimed to have sustained a herniated disc at C6-7. He further claimed that he suffered from a bulging disc at L4-5; straightening of the cervical lordosis; mild, bilateral narrowing of the L4 neural foramina; chronic radiculopathy at C5-6 and L5-S1; and lost range of motion in his cervical and lumbar regions.

Plaintiff underwent extensive physical therapy and receive five epidural injections. In December 2002, he underwent a discectomy with decompression and a bone graft at C6-7. The procedure was followed by an additional six months of physical therapy and a lumbar interbody fusion with the insertion of a cage.

The Plaintiff continues to undergo physical therapy for his back and neck injuries. He claimed that he has a permanent scar on his neck at the site of the discectomy. He also contended that he suffers from depression, fatigue, recurrent flashbacks, and nightmares. He claimed that his injuries rendered him permanently disabled, and that he is unable to resume work.

Defendants disputed Plaintiff's need for surgeries. They contended that any necessary surgery corrected conditions unrelated to the accident. They also disputed Plaintiff's claim that he is unable to work.

SETTLEMENT AMOUNT

The parties reached a $3.5 million settlement during a pretrial mediation. The general contractor's insurer contributed $3 million, and the building owner's insurer contributed $500,000.

ATTORNEYS

This matter was handled by Jeffrey A. Block, Esq. and Daniel P. O'Toole, Esq.