Laborer Awarded $3,750,000 for Leg Injuries Sustained When He Was Struck By a Falling Steel Beam

Our client was working on a construction site in the Bronx when he was struck by a 30-foot long steel beam that fell from a nearby roof. The beam struck our client in the left lower leg, causing a severe crush injury. He eventually required multiple surgeries, and his gait changed as a result. Doctors informed him he would require ankle fusion surgery within 20 years.

Court and County

Supreme, Bronx

Plaintiff Description

Our client was a 35-year-old electrician on the date of his accident.

Description of Case

Our client was working at a 5-story building in Williamsbridge, Bronx. He had been employed with this company for about 7 months and had worked on this particular job site for several weeks prior. The exterior façade of the building was already erected, but windows and doors had not yet been installed.

At the time of the accident, our client was exiting a building as a 30-foot long steel beam was being lowered from a roof with a rope. The rope broke, causing the beam to fall, hit a wall and then land on our client's left leg. Our client momentarily lost consciousness after he was hit.

The site supervisor later admitted that no safety meetings had been held on the site. Our client's summary judgement motion on New York Labor Law 200 and 240(1) was granted.

Injuries / Damages

Our client suffered a severe crush injury in his left calf muscle, causing a variety of injuries to the area:

  • Grade III open pilon fracture
  • Comminuted fracture of distal tibia
  • Medial malleolus fracture
  • Traumatic arthritis

To correct his leg and ankle fractures, our client required open reduction-internal fixation surgery with an IM nailing. He then began regular physical therapy. At this time he was forced to use a cane to get around at home and was taking Oxycodone regularly to treat ongoing leg and foot pain.

Our client had a long way to go to recover full usage of his left leg. He was unable to bend his left knee and felt constant pain in his heels and toes; the muscles in his left calf began to atrophy, and soon he began to experience pain in his lower right leg due to the change in his gait.

More than two years after his initial surgeries to treat his leg injuries, our client had to have an additional surgery to implant a bone stimulator. He continued to have non-union of his left ankle joint, however, requiring the continual use of the bone stimulator and raising the possibility that he may require an additional bone grafting surgery at a later time. Doctors also informed our client that he would require an ankle fusion within the next 15-20 years.

Settlement

The matter was settled prior to trial for $3,750,000 out of the available $4,000,000 policies of insurance.

Handling Attorneys

This case was handled by Partners Jeffrey A. Block and S. Joseph Donahue.