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$1,325,000 for a carpenter that fell off a ladder that was leaning against a wall on top of a scaffold

Supreme New York

Plaintiff was a 24 year-old carpenter.

Plaintiff was a carpenter working on a project that involved the construction of a restaurant in the lobby of a landmark Manhattan hotel. During the project, Plaintiff was instructed to patch a section of wall with sheet rock. In order to reach the highest portion of the wall, Plaintiff placed an A-Frame ladder on top of a rolling Baker scaffold, and leaned the A-Frame ladder in a closed position against the wall on which he was working. While drilling in sheet rock, the scaffold and ladder became unsteady and collapsed, causing Plaintiff to fall approximately 12-16 feet to the floor. Plaintiff sued the owner of the building under the New York State Labor Law.

Defendants argued that Plaintiff was solely responsible for the incident for the reckless way he placed the ladder on top of the scaffold, and that Plaintiff ignored specific instructions to use an alternative scaffold and tie off with a safety belt and life line.

Plaintiff suffered multiple facial fractures, including fractures to his nasal bone, sinus wall and left orbit. He underwent a naso-septal surgery shortly following the incident. Plaintiff also suffered a herniated disc in his lumbar spine at L4/L5, which was treated with 2 surgeries – a disc ablation and a lumbar fusion. Plaintiff additionally a torn meniscus in his left knee, which was addressed operatively via arthroscopic surgery.

Plaintiff had no lost earnings claim. Defendants argued that Plaintiff had fully recovered from his injuries, and that any future medical costs to which he was entitled should be reduced to their value in his country of origin.


This case was handled by Stephen J. Murphy, Esq. (lead) and David L. Scher, Esq.

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