Elevator Accident Victim Awarded Settlement for Shoulder and Neck Injuries

Kings County

Date of Settlement
April 27, 2010

Facts and Allegations
On February 7, 2008, a 29 year old local 32 BJ Union maintenance worker was working in a commercial building when the building elevator rapidly descended and came to an abrupt stop between the first and second floors. As a result of the abrupt stop, Plaintiff was thrown to the ground and the elevator escape hatch fell and struck Plaintiff in the head, neck and shoulder.

Plaintiff alleged that the elevator repair company was negligent in the maintenance of the elevator and that the negligence resulted in the elevator malfunctioning, thereby causing the accident. Defendant elevator company argued that the elevator was properly maintained.

The following day, Plaintiff presented to Cabrini Medical Center with complaints of shoulder and neck pain. Plaintiff eventually came under the care of a neurologist and orthopedic surgeon. An MRI examination revealed a herniated disc at the C4/5 level.

Due to the failure of conservative treatment and a worsening of Plaintiff's condition, Plaintiff ultimately underwent a fusion of the cervical spine at the C4/5 level. Plaintiff argued that as a result of his condition, he has been unable to resume employment and requires ongoing medical care and treatment. Defendants argued that Plaintiff's injuries were not caused by the accident and that Plaintiff made a complete recovery from his injuries.

The parties agreed to a $1,900,000 settlement at a mediation prior to trial.

This matter was handled by S. Joseph Donahue.