$2,640,000 Awarded to Construction Worker Who Was Injured in a Falling Object Accident
Our client, a laborer, was performing construction work while standing on a scaffold three stories above the ground. He had been told that he did not need a safety harness or lifeline. While working, an unsecured drill fell from above, injuring our client’s hand and causing him to fall backwards off the scaffold, resulting in neck, shoulder, and back injuries. Despite not reporting some of his injuries for months after the accident, our client received a $2,640,000 settlement.
COURT AND COUNTY
Supreme Court, Kings & Brooklyn Counties
AGE AND OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF
Plaintiff was 47 years old on the date of the accident and 51 years old at the time of the resolution. He was a non-union laborer employed by Galicia Contracting and Restoration Company.
DESCRIPTION OF CASE
The plaintiff was involved in the construction of a 10-story research facility. At the time of the accident, the plaintiff was working on pipe scaffolding covering an exterior brick wall of the premises of Winthrop University Hospital. This scaffold was three stories off the ground. The plaintiff should have been provided with proper safety equipment, such as a harness or lifeline, but was told by his employer that he did not need one. There were no harnesses or safety netting on the site. It was also raining at the time of the accident.
While the plaintiff was on the scaffold, it suddenly shifted from side to side due to loose floor planks. This caused an unsecured drill that was being stored on the scaffolding floor at the level directly above Plaintiff to fall through a hole in the floor. In an effort to shield himself from the falling drill plaintiff raised his hands above his head. The drill then became entangled with his right hand. At some point, the drill turned on and lacerated the middle finger on his right, dominant hand. He then stumbled backwards and fell three stories to the ground below. The way in which the plaintiff landed caused him to forcefully strike the right upper portion of his shoulder and neck into the scaffolding frame. Loose planks from the scaffolding above also fell on the plaintiff’s back after he landed.
INJURIES AND DAMAGES
Plaintiff sustained a degloving injury and fracture to his righthand middle finger, requiring a partial amputation with a resulting pain syndrome. Plaintiff further sustained a partial thickness rotator cuff tear to the right shoulder, requiring arthroscopic repair. He suffered cervical herniations at C4-C5 and C5-C6, which required a fusion surgery at those segments. There was also right paracentral herniation at the C2-C3 and C3-C4 vertebrae, as well as an L1-L2 disc herniation, L5-S1 disc herniation, and L4-L5 posterior disc herniation with a partial annular tear.
He suffered from neck pain, headaches, pain in his right ankle, elbow pain, bilateral knee pain, and back pain that radiated to his buttocks and left leg, causing persistent numbness and tingling. Our attorneys convinced the insurance carriers to pay $2,640,000 despite Plaintiff failing to register complaints about his neck for nine months after the accident and his shoulder for seven months after the accident.
The parties negotiated a $2,640,000 pre-trial settlement.
This case was handled by Partners Stephen J. Murphy and Michael J. Hurwitz.