$4,000,000 settlement in a Nassau County lawsuit, for a laborer who fell off a roof injuring his lumbar spine

April 4, 2017

Supreme Court, Nassau County

Our client was a 35 year old laborer who was performing roofing and siding work at a condominium complex. At the time of the accident, he was cutting wood on the roof of a one-story home within the complex in the rain. Due to the slickness of the roof, he slipped and fell down to the ground below, landing on a wooden deck. We claimed that our client was not provided any safety devices, such as roof brackets or a safety harness, which might have otherwise prevented his fall. We brought suit against the owner of the complex in Supreme Court Nassau County, alleging violation of New York Labor Law Section 240(1).

Our client suffered a serious back injury as a result of the fall. He was transported from the scene to a local hospital where he was admitted for two weeks. During that time, he was diagnosed with a burst fracture at the L1 level of his spine, and the vertebrae was also displaced and pushed into his spinal canal. As a result, a back surgery was performed, which involved open reduction with internal fixation and the insertion of hardware from the T11 down to the L3 level of our client's spine.

After a brief inpatient rehabilitation admission, our client was discharged to his home. Since then, he has attended outpatient physical therapy, and attempted to control his continuing pain with medication. At the time of settlement, he remained disabled from employment, with continuing back pain and physical limitations. We brought claims on his behalf for his pain and suffering, lost earnings and medical expenses.

We negotiated a $4,000,000 settlement with the defense more than a year before the case would have gone to trial. This result is notable given the size of the settlement, particularly given the venue of the case in Nassau County, which is widely considered to be a conservative venue.

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