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$1,400,000 Settlement for a Subcontractor Seriously Injured in a Scaffolding Fall in Orange County, New York 

Our client was working on the campus of West Point Academy as a subcontractor when he suffered a fall from a 6-foot scaffold. His injuries were so severe that he will require lifelong treatment to his lumbar spine, right shoulder, and left shoulder. Our attorneys advocated for our client, securing him a settlement of $1,400,000 after mediation. 

Court and County
Supreme Court, Orange County 

Plaintiff Description
Our client was a 53-year-old man working as a subcontractor at the time of the accident.  

Description of Case
This matter arises out of an accident at a construction site on September 21, 2018, on the campus of West Point Academy. The subject construction project involved the renovation of a campus building. The Plaintiff, our client, was employed as a union journeyman taper by a subcontractor on the construction site. Our client was a union member at the time of the subject accident. The Defendants in this matter were the General Contractor and Site Safety Contractor.

To perform his work, our client required the use of a 6-foot-high Baker scaffold. At the time of the accident, our client was working on top of the Baker scaffold. The scaffold did not have any railings installed around the platform. While our client was working on the scaffold platform, the scaffold shook, causing our client to fall to the ground. As a result of the fall, he was rendered unconscious and suffered injuries to his head, shoulders, and lumbar spine.

Our client moved for summary judgment on the issue of liability under Labor Law section 240 and Labor Law section 241(6). The Court granted our client’s motion for summary judgment against the General Contractor based on Labor Section 240. 

Our client was seriously and permanently injured because of the accident. Our client was found by a co-worker and an ambulance was called. He was taken by helicopter to Westchester Medical Center for treatment of his injuries where it was determined that he suffered lacerations to his scalp requiring repair with five staples. Our client also suffered injuries to his lumbar spine, left shoulder, and right shoulder because of the accident.

An MRI of the Right Shoulder revealed rotator cuff tears and a torn labrum, which required two (2) arthroscopic surgeries to repair. An MRI of the Left Shoulder also revealed tears in our client’s rotator cuff and a torn labrum. A lumbar spine MRI revealed lumbar disc herniation at the L3-L4 levels. He underwent conservative treatment in the form of physical therapy and lumbar epidural steroid injections to alleviate his pain and symptoms. He also consulted with a spine surgeon regarding the potential need for lumbar spine surgery. 

Our client’s expert Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialist opined that he would need lifelong treatment to his lumbar spine, right shoulder, and left shoulder due to the injuries he suffered in the accident and that this treatment would be associated with costs. He opined that our client would need future visits with a spine specialist, musculoskeletal/pain specialist, future physical therapy, future diagnostic testing, and medications to treat the injuries and continued pain and symptoms related to the accident. This specialist and our client’s treating doctor also opined that he was disabled from employment as a union taper.  

Our client retained an expert economist who prepared an economic loss analysis relating to the cost of future healthcare. This economist also calculated the future loss of income, future loss in funding of our client’s pension and annuity related to his union and loss in social security retirement income. 

Settlement Amount
This matter was settled after mediation for $1,400,000. 

Handling Attorneys
This matter was handled by firm attorneys Daniel O’Toole and Fred Aranki.

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