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$1,600,000 Settlement for Bronx Worker Who Fell From a Ladder and Required Spine and Shoulder Surgeries

Our client was putting up sheet rock on a ceiling in a Manhattan building. To do so, he had to climb a wooden 8-foot A-frame ladder without the use of additional safety devices. The ladder turned out to be wobbly and tipped over, causing our client to fall and injure his back, eventually requiring spinal fusion surgery.

Court and County

Supreme Bronx

Plaintiff Description

Our client was a 23-year-old non-union laborer at the time of his accident.

Accident Description

On August 11, 2014, our client was attempting to apply sheet rock to the ceiling on the 16th floor of a Manhattan building under renovation. To do this, he had to climb up to the 5th or 6th step of an 8-foot wooden A-frame ladder-there were no other safety devices available to him.

Our client had previously complained to his boss that this ladder was unsteady, an assertion that Plaintiff’s boss refuted. While our client was on it, the ladder fell over, sending him crashing to the ground. He hit his back on the wall and then landed on his right shoulder on the floor.

After the accident, our client’s supervisor took him to the NYU ER with complaints of pain in his right shoulder. There he was diagnosed with a dislocated shoulder. The first attempt to reduce was unsuccessful, though they did eventually manage to pop it back in. This shoulder continued to dislocate multiple times over the following weeks.

A few weeks after the accident, our client began to complain of severe low back pain. An MRI revealed multiple herniated discs, and a spinal fusion surgery had to be performed at L4/5.

Since his accident, our client is unable to continue playing pick-up baseball as he once enjoyed, and has ongoing pain and physical limitations. He has not returned to work.


Our client was initially diagnosed with a dislocated right shoulder, which continued to dislocate multiple times in the following weeks. The pain was so bad that he eventually had to check himself back into the ER for pain to this shoulder. An MRI revealed tendinosis and a Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior lesion. Our client began to undergo physical therapy 2-3 times a week.

About a month after the accident, our client began to experience low back pain, which would occasionally radiate a feeling of numbness down to his legs; an MRI later revealed various levels of thecal sac indentation and bulging disks from L2-S1. An MRI of the Cervical Spine revealed that our client also suffered bulging discs from C3-6.

Later, it was determined that our client suffered severe damage at L4/5, which ultimately required lumbar fusion surgery. The pre-operation diagnosis which necessitated this surgery involved:

  • Severe back pain
  • Lumbosacral radiculopathy
  • Disk herniation
  • Nerve root impingement
  • Gross instability at L4/5
  • Transverse annular tear at L4/5 with herniated material from the tear

Our client claimed to be unable to return to construction work as a result of the injuries he suffered in his accident; a claim that was disputed by the defense.


This case settled for $1,600,000.


This matter was handled by Stephen J. Murphy and David L. Scher.

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