$5,900,000 for Bricklayer with Post-Concussion Syndrome, Herniated Discs, and Other Injuries after Ladder Fall

COURT AND COUNTY
Supreme Court, Bronx County

AGE AND OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF
Plaintiff was a 46 year old union bricklayer at the time of the accident.

DESCRIPTION OF CASE
Our client was employed to perform exterior masonry work at PS 66 on Jennings Street in the Bronx. He had been on this construction site for several weeks and co-workers claimed they were constantly being rushed to get the job done.

On the evening in question, our client was instructed by his supervisor to cut a wire which was holding up a water hose that ran up to the roof. The only safety device available to him was a 12ft aluminum A-frame stepladder. In the area where he would have to place the ladder, there was a wrought iron gate about 5 feet away from the wall. Our client claimed that he tried to open the ladder but didn't have room to do so; his supervisor told him to put the ladder flat up against the wall. The floor where he was required to place the ladder had a grating on it and there was no way to place the ladder anywhere else, other than on top of the grating.

No lifelines, safety harnesses or nets were provided; no scaffolds were on site. In the past, when they needed to access this particular area, they would climb on top of the sidewalk bridge to do so. However, this bridge had been taken down the week before.

Our client climbed up to the third rung from the top with his box cutter in his pocket. He was up on the ladder for about a minute before the ladder began to shake and, before he could react, fall. The lack of adequate safety measures made this case pursuable under Labor Law 240, also known as the Scaffold Law.

DAMAGES
Our client fell approximately 20 feet onto his head and the left side of his body. He was unconscious for about 2-5 minutes. When he came to, his co-workers told him to go to the hospital but he refused, saying that he would be okay. His supervisor made him sit down and he wasn't allowed to physically work for the rest of the day. His pain got worse as the day went on and he was later taken home by a co-worker.

The next day, our client visited his PCP with complaints of pain in his left arm and left hip, along with dizziness and headaches. He was told he should visit a hospital and when he did, he was diagnosed with a fractured radius and ulna, which required an open reduction-internal fixation surgery.

There was also suspected to be some neurological damage, and our client was soon diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome, post-traumatic headaches and post-traumatic mood disorder. He began to suffer from some very scary bouts of fainting.

Though it was not the initial source of his worst pain, our client began to suffer from severe back pain and was soon diagnosed with multiple herniated discs in his spine. Although he had surgery on his back, this did nothing to cure his constant pain and he began to require periodic epidural injections into his lower spine. Ultimately he required a nerve stimulator to be permanently implanted in his spine to help treat his chronic pain.

SETTLEMENT

The parties reached a negotiated settlement of $5,900,000.

ATTORNEYS

The case was handled by Partners Daniel P. O'Toole and Scott Occhiogrosso.