$5,885,000 Awarded To Undocumented Worker In Construction Accident Case


Our client, a Spanish-speaking undocumented worker, was a 35 year old non-union laborer. He was working at a construction project at 32-90 36th St. in Queens, New York. The site was the renovation of a cafe. At the time of the accident, he was told to stand on a ladder on top of a scaffold with wheels in order to paint the ceiling beam. He was standing on the ladder approximately fifteen feet off the ground. The accident occurred when the scaffold moved and the worker and the ladder fell to the ground.

Plaintiff moved for summary judgment on the issue of liability pursuant to Labor Law 240(1). By decision, the Honorable James J. Golia granted the Plaintiff's summary judgment motion on the issue of liability.

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As a result of this incident, our client suffered a right wrist fracture and multiple disc herniations to his lumbar spine.

He endured two closed reduction procedures to his right wrist before ultimately being compelled to undergo surgery requiring open reduction and internal fixation.

Due to painful hardware, our client underwent an additional surgery to remove the hardware from his wrist.

He also underwent a lumbar spine fusion to levels L3-4 and L4-5 due to pain caused by the disc herniations at those levels.

As a result of his injuries, our client continued to experience pain to his back and right wrist. He had not returned to work following his accident but did not pursue a lost wages claim.


The jury returned a verdict for $5,885,000, slightly more than the our client had requested during summation.

The case was handled by Attorney Stephen J. Murphy, a partner with the firm, and Attorney Christopher Holbrook, an associate with the firm.