$2,000,000 Settlement for a Mason Laborer Who Suffered Lower Back Injuries after a Construction Accident
DATE OF SETTLEMENT
COURT AND COUNTY
AGE AND OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF
Plaintiff was 41 years old on the date of the accident and employed by A-Plus Masonry.
FACTS AND ALLEGATIONS
This matter stems from a construction site accident that occurred on March 26, 2015 at 12:30 pm at 140 Old Country Road, Mineola, New York. The project was for the new construction of a residential apartment building. Plaintiff, a masonry laborer, was caused to fall from a scaffold when the plank he was standing on gave way causing plaintiff and the plank to fall 20 feet to the ground below. Plaintiff alleged violations of the NY State Labor Law sections 240(1) and 241(6) in that the planks on the scaffold were not secured and the scaffold failed to have guard rails. Additionally, Plaintiff alleged that he was not provided with any form of fall prevention equipment while working at an elevation.
Defendants argued that the scaffolding Plaintiff was using had been tagged “out-of-service” prior to the date of accident and Plaintiff should not have been working on said scaffolding.
As a result of the accident Plaintiff was taken to the ER at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital with immediate complaints of head and lower back pain. Shortly thereafter plaintiff began treatment for his neck, lower back, right knee and right ankle. Plaintiff alleged to have sustained damage to the right ankle peroneal brevis tendon requiring arthroscopic surgery. Plaintiff also sustained a partial medial meniscus tear to the right knee that required arthroscopic repair. Additionally, plaintiff sustained a lumbar herniation at L5-S1 and was recommended to have a decompressive lumbar laminectomy and fusion surgery at L4, L5, and S1 segments. Finally, plaintiff alleged to have sustained cervical herniations that have been treated conservatively.
The Defendants argued that Plaintiff’s lumbar spine injuries were pre-exiting with evidence of numerous emergency room visits regarding the lumbar spine from 2008 to five months prior to the subject accident. In December 2008 Plaintiff presented to the ER with complaints of lower back pain for the past three months after lifting a heavy object with pain radiating down his legs. In March of 2010 Plaintiff presented to the ER with complaints of sharp lower back pain which started two weeks prior. Again in April of 2010 Plaintiff presented to the ER with complaints of back pain for several months radiating into his left leg. In March of 2013 Plaintiff presented to the ER with complaints of stabbing and radiating back pain which started one day prior. In April of 2014 Plaintiff presented to the ER indicating he fell from a ladder at work that morning with complaints of left ankle and lower back pain. Again in October of 2014, just five months prior to the subject accident, Plaintiff presented to the ER indicating at work the day prior he was struck on the right side of his back with a piece of wood and then lifted a heavy bucket which made the pain in his back worse.
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 $2,000,000 pretrial settlement.
This case was handled by Stephen J. Murphy, Esq. and Michael J. Hurwitz, Esq.