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Court Triumph For Union Laborer Injured in Construction Accident

Lawyers from all over New York State and beyond bring their most significant cases to Block O’Toole & Murphy. The firm is widely regarded as one of the top trial firms in the entire country and that is typically the reason why lawyers are interested in the firm handling their cases. But this collection of talented lawyers does much more than just trial work.

In this particular instance, Block O’Toole & Murphy continued a spirited fight in the appellate courts on behalf of an injured construction laborer. The monumental decision, which can be found below, is illustrative of how determined and talented these lawyers are.

The New York State Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department decision resulted in a staggering judgment that is now worth more than $10,000,000 to a humble and hard working construction laborer.

The decision comes nearly two years after the case was tried to verdict by firm lawyers Jeffrey A. Block and S. Joseph Donahue. Prior to trial, our client was awarded summary judgment on the issue of liability after the court determined that the defendants were responsible for the accident by failing to place rebar caps on exposed vertical rebar, causing an impalement hazard in violation of New York State Labor Law 241(6) and the New York State Industrial Code.

During trial, Partners Block and Donahue persuaded a Brooklyn jury that our client suffered internal injuries and a back injury after being impaled by an uncapped rebar at a construction project in Brooklyn. The graphic injury resulted in excruciating pain and necessitated a spine surgery to the plaintiff’s lower back.

The jury awarded our client #6,793,881.00 following the damages only trial.

On appeal, the defendants argued that the Labor Law and Industrial Code did not apply to the accident and that our client was responsible for the accident. The Appellate Court disagreed, unanimously finding defendants’ failure to place caps on the rebar violated both the Labor Law and Industrial Code. The Court further determined that our client had no responsibility for the accident.

The defendants further argued that the jury’s award was excessive, despite the trial court’s previous reduction of our client’s award after trial by $1,500,000.00. On appeal, not only did the Appellate Court disagree with defendants’ argument that the award was unreasonable, but the Court actually increased the award back to the jury’s original verdict of $6,793,881.00.

Based on the decision rendered by the Appellate Division, Second Department, our client’s award now exceeds $10,000,000. We will continue to keep you posted as this case plays out. As we go to print the defendants are carefully considering what limited options remain.

For more information, call Block O’Toole & Murphy at 212-736-5300. Free consultation.

The Decision.