Falling Object Accident Leads to $2,150,000 Recovery for Union Carpenter

The Plaintiff, a 48 year-old union carpenter, was working in a new building under construction at 30 West 18th Street in Manhattan, when an unsecured wooden form, approximately 12' long and 1' wide, with 2 x 4 pieces of wood attached to it, fell from a height of 12-14 feet and struck the Plaintiff in the face. The Plaintiff also alleged that after he was hit, he fell down a flight of stairs nearby. The Plaintiff was granted summary judgment as to liability despite there being no witnesses to the accident and nothing to support the Plaintiff's contention that he fell down a flight of stairs following the accident.

The Plaintiff suffered herniated and bulging discs in his cervical spine and underwent neck surgery as a result of his injuries. The Plaintiff also suffered a brain concussion, post-concussion syndrome and neuropsychological impairment secondary to diffuse cerebral dysfunction. He could not return to work in his chosen profession as a result of his injuries. The Defendants alleged that the Plaintiff's neck surgery was unrelated to any injuries sustained in the accident, that he did not make any neck complaints until six weeks after the accident and that the Plaintiff was neurologically intact shortly after the accident. The Defendants also alleged that the Plaintiff could return to work in various occupations earning the same or a higher salary than he was making pre-accident.

Date of settlement: 3/3/10

Settlement amount: $2,150,000

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