$1,850,000 Settlement in Pull-Down Ladder Injury Case
DATE OF SETTLEMENT
COURT AND COUNTY
AGE AND OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF
Plaintiff was 54 years old on the date of the accident and employed as an Installer for Time Warner Cable’s Construction Department.
FACTS AND ALLEGATIONS
This matter stems from a construction site accident that occurred on August 6, 2014 at 11:00 am at 45 Canal Street, New York, New York. The project was a complete gut renovation and reconstruction to convert a commercial property to a single family apartment with a basement photography studio. Plaintiff, an Installer from Time Warner Cable’s Construction Department, was installing cable, telephone and internet access to the building. While Plaintiff was descending an attached pull-down ladder that provided access from the basement to an elevated mechanical room, where Time Warner Cable equipment was being installed, the ladder completely detached from the ceiling causing the ladder and Plaintiff to fall 8 feet to the ground below sustaining significant injuries. Plaintiff alleged violations of the NY State Labor Law sections 240(1) and 241(6) in that the ladder was inadequate and failed to provide proper protection for Plaintiff.
Plaintiff alleged to have sustained a non-displaced fracture to the fifth digit on the right hand which resolved after limited treatment. Plaintiff also sustained a traumatic lumbar herniation at the L4-L5 segment confirmed by MRI study. Regarding the lumbar spine Plaintiff began a course of conservative treatment including physical therapy and chiropractic adjustments. The physical therapy was conducted 2-3 times per week which included exercises, electric stimulation, massage, and balance training. When the treatments failed to provide any relief he was recommended for, and eventually underwent, a decompressive lumbar laminectomy and fusion surgery at the L4-L5 level which was performed almost one year after the accident. Plaintiff alleged that the injuries from this fall have prevented him from working and engaging in his activities of daily living. Plaintiff testified how the injuries have prevented him from playing and interacting with his three sons and how it has affected his ability to take care of his home and support his family.
The Defendants argued that Plaintiff’s lumbar spinal injuries were degenerative in nature and not causally related to the subject accident and that all diagnostic studies failed to illustrate any traumatically induced injury. The defendant’s expert orthopedic surgeon opined that the lumbar surgery was unnecessary because there were no findings of instability or spinal deformity to warrant same. Further, defendant’s argued that no further treatment was necessary and plaintiff can engage in all activities of daily living and can return to gainful employment.
Plaintiff made claims for loss of earnings, past and future medical expenses, as well as past and future pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
The parties negotiated a $1,850,000 pretrial settlement.
This case was handled by Stephen J. Murphy, Esq. and Michael J. Hurwitz, Esq.