$1,800,000 Settlement for 43-Year-Old Laborer Injured at a Construction Site in New York’s Financial District
A 43-year-old laborer was hired by a third-party construction company to clean up the construction area on the 26th floor of a 37-story building in New York’s Financial District. He was dusting at an elevated height when he was caused to fall from a ladder that had not been secured. As a result of the accident, he sustained serious hip and spinal injuries. Represented by Partners Stephen Murphy and Michael Hurwitz, he received a $1.8 million settlement.
Court and County
Supreme, New York
Age and Occupation of the Plaintiff:
At the time of the accident, Plaintiff was a 43-year-old laborer employed under a third-party construction company.
This matter stems from a construction site accident that occurred on September 25, 2014 at 4:00 pm at 80 Broad Street, New York, New York. The project was for the construction of new offices on the 26th floor. Defendant 80 Broad Street LLC was the owner of the property at the time of the accident and Defendant 80 Broad Street Property Investors II, LLC was the prior owner who had contracted for the subject work and it was alleged who maintained involvement in overseeing the work even after the sale of the property. Defendant Sweet Construction Corp. was the general contractor. Plaintiff, a laborer, was employed by third-party Defendant Cleaning Contractors Corp. who was hired to perform cleaning of the construction work to get the space ready for the tenants. On the date of the accident, Plaintiff while performing elevated cleaning/dusting work, was caused to fall from an unsecured 6 foot A-frame ladder. Plaintiff alleged violations of the NY State Labor Law section 240(1).
Defendants argued that Plaintiff was not engaged in a covered construction work activity as defined by the NY Labor Law section 240(1). Further Defendants argued that Plaintiff was the sole proximate cause of the accident in failing to use other ladders that were available at the site that would have provided him better access to the elevated work area.
Injuries and Damages
Plaintiff alleged to have sustained cervical herniations at the C4/5, C5/6, and C6/7 segments requiring a fusion surgery in 2/2015 at those levels. In 4/2015 due to complications from the fusion Plaintiff underwent an additional surgery to remove the spinal implants. Plaintiff also claimed to sustain injuries to the labrum in both hips requiring bilateral arthroplasties in 2/2016 (Right) and 2/2018 (Left). Finally, Plaintiff claimed exacerbation of a pre-existing injury to his lumbar spine requiring a spinal cord stimulator implant procedure in January 2019.
Regarding the cervical spine Defendant’s expert radiologist opined that the findings on the diagnostic studies taken all showed degenerative, longstanding chronic conditions not causally related to the accident and were without any evidence of recent trauma. Defendant’s spinal surgeon opined Plaintiff had chronic cervical spine disease. Defense experts opined Plaintiff’s cervical spine surgeries were unrelated to the subject accident and that Plaintiff has recovered from the surgeries and there is no need for further treatment.
Regarding the lumbar spine Defendant’s expert radiologist opined that the findings on the diagnostic studies taken all showed degenerative, longstanding chronic conditions not causally related to the accident and were without any evidence of recent trauma. The defense spinal surgeon opined that the lumbar spine complaints stem from a longstanding chronic problem completely unrelated to the subject accident.
The Defendants argued that Plaintiff’s bilateral hip injuries were also longstanding chronic degenerative and osteoarthritic conditions not causally related to the subject accident and that all diagnostic studies failed to illustrate any traumatically induced injuries.
The matter settled for $1,800,000.
This case was handled by Partners Stephen J. Murphy and Michael J. Hurwitz.