$2,600,000 Settlement for Local 79 Union Worker Injured in a Demolition Accident
Our client, a Local 79 union worker, was involved in a demolition of a two-story building. He was on the second story when – without warning – the floor underneath him collapsed, causing him to fall. Upon hitting the ground, he was buried underneath slabs of concrete and debris. He suffered serious injuries, including a knee fracture, scapula fracture, rotator cuff tear, and an increase in the size of a pre-existing aortic aneurysm. Represented by Block O’Toole & Murphy, he received a $2.6 million settlement.
DATE OF SETTLEMENT
COURT AND COUNTY
Supreme Court, New York County
AGE AND OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF
Plaintiff was 60 years old on the date of the accident. Plaintiff was a union Local 79 demolition worker when the accident occurred.
FACTS AND ALLEGATIONS
This matter arose out of a construction site accident that occurred during the demolition phase of one the buildings on the site. Plaintiff was a Local 79 construction laborer employed by a subcontractor of the general contractor. He was involved in the demolition work being performed at the subject premises – a two-story building with a ground level and a second level. Plaintiff was positioned on the second level approximately twenty (20) feet from the ground and was involved in removing scaffolding. After Plaintiff passed a piece of scaffolding to a co-worker, the floor underneath Plaintiff began to vibrate and suddenly and without warning collapsed, causing Plaintiff to fall twenty (20) feet to the ground level below.
Upon hitting the ground, slabs of concrete and debris fell onto Plaintiff covering his entire body. Plaintiff alleged negligence and violations of Labor Law §§ 240(1) and 241(6) against the building’s owner and the project’s general contractor and negligence against the structural consultant who prepared the demolition plans. Third-Party actions were commenced against the Plaintiff’s employer and the site safety consultants. Plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment on his Labor Law 240 claims. The motion was granted by the Court after oral argument.
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As a result of the accident, the Plaintiff was buried underneath the building’s rubble for at least 45 minutes before he was rescued by firefighters responding to the accident. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital and while admitted to the hospital they did a full body scan and found a previously asymptomatic aortic aneurysm. He needed surgery to repair the aneurysm. Plaintiff’s expert cardiologist opined that related the growth of the aneurysm to the point it needed surgery to the accident. Plaintiff also suffered a fractured scapula; right shoulder rotator cuff tear; stress fracture in his right knee; and a lumbar spine disc herniation
Plaintiff was employed as a union Local 79 laborer at the time of the accident. As a result of the accident he was disabled from all employment.
Plaintiff made claims for past and future medical expenses. Plaintiff also made a claim for past and future lost wages and union benefits. The claim for future lost wages and union benefits was supported by the Plaintiff’s expert physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist, who opined that Plaintiff could not return to work as a construction worker. Plaintiff’s expert economist calculated the lost wages and benefits applying annual growth rates. Plaintiff also made claims for past and future pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
The parties negotiated a $2,600,000 pretrial settlement with the assistance of a New York County Supreme Court mediator.
This case was handled by Daniel P. O’Toole, Esq. and Frederick C. Aranki, Esq.