$6,500,000 Settlement for Union Mechanic with Permanent Partial Disability After Work Accident

Our client was employed to install a building maintenance unit on the roof of a Manhattan building. During the course of his work, he was required to walk across a catwalk that collapsed, causing him to fall 18-20 feet to the surface below. He suffered serious injuries, including fractures to his spine, wrist, elbow, and pelvis, which prevented him from returning to work in any capacity. Represented by attorneys Daniel P. O'Toole and Frederick C. Aranki, he received a $6.5 million settlement.

Court and County
Supreme Court, New York County

Description of Case
Our client was a union mechanic who was working on the roof of a building in Manhattan. His company was hired by the building owner to install a building maintenance unit on the roof and exterior of the building. During the course of his work, our client was required to utilize a catwalk on the roof that was positioned 18-20 feet above the surface of the roof. He needed to walk the catwalk to access an electrical outlet that was to provide power for the building maintenance unit. While walking on this catwalk in the course of his duties involving the installation of the building maintenance unit, a section of the catwalk upon which he was walking collapsed, causing him to fall 18-20 feet to the roof surface and suffer debilitating injuries which will be detailed below.

We moved for summary judgment against the building owner for violating Labor Law Section 240(1). The motion was strongly opposed by defense counsel but the Court granted our motion for summary judgment. The defendant appealed this decision and we successfully defeated their appeal to overturn the lower court's granting of summary judgment in our favor.

Injuries/Damages
As a result of his injuries our client spent 12 days in the hospital and 87 days in a rehabilitation facility and required several surgeries. He suffered a badly fractured elbow which required surgery to implant hardware in the elbow. He subsequently developed infections at the surgical site which required two additional procedures and eventually the removal of the surgical hardware. Our client still suffers from very limited range of motion of his elbow which restricts his activities of daily living.

Our client also suffered a complicated fracture of his right, dominant wrist which required surgery in which hardware was implanted. He continues to have restricted range of motion in his wrist which restricts his ability to perform his customary activities.

Our client further sustained fractures to vertebra in his lumbar spine and fractures in his pelvis. The fractures to his pelvis required surgery with hardware which remains in his pelvis to this day.

Based on his injuries and permanent and severe restrictions to his range of motion in his dominant arm, and constant pain in his lower back, our client was never able to return to work in any capacity following the accident. He will also require future medical treatment for the remainder of his life. We made claims on his behalf for substantial damages including past and future lost earnings and union benefits, future cost of healthcare, past and future pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. The defense retained several experts to rebut the claims made on behalf of our client, including medical experts who claimed he made an excellent recovery and a vocational rehabilitation expert who opined that our client could return to work. We also retained medical, economic and vocational rehabilitation experts to support the claims made for our client. We secured a settlement of $6,500,000 prior to the scheduling of a trial date.

Handling Attorneys
This case was handled by Daniel P. O'Toole and Frederick C. Aranki.