$2,700,000 For Union Roofer Who Fractured His Leg and Back After Falling at Work
Our client, a union roofer, was installing a new roof at a Long Island school. This work had to take place at night, but the artificial lighting provided was ineffective. Our client was rolling out tar paper and took a step back, unaware that he was close to the edge of the roof. He fell 20 feet to the ground below. As a result of the fall, he suffered multiple serious injuries.
COURT AND COUNTY
Supreme Court, Nassau County
AGE AND OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF
Plaintiff was a 53-year-old Local 8 union roofer.
DESCRIPTION OF CASE
The plaintiff was hired to complete construction of the roof at Long Beach Middle School in Nassau County. The roof had to be replaced because the old roofing contained asbestos. It was the job of the plaintiff and his partners to put up parapet walls and complete the installation of the new roof. Much of the work took place at night, and even though artificial lighting was provided, it proved to be insufficient. At about 11:00 p.m. on the night of the accident, the plaintiff and another worker were rolling out tar paper on the roof towards the back of the school. It was very dark, and the plaintiff had trouble seeing where he was going and where the roof ended. The plaintiff walked backwards, not realizing he was by the edge of the roof. He stepped back, fell off the roof, and plummeted about 20 feet to the ground below.
The plaintiff was never provided with a harness or lifeline by his construction company, nor was he wearing one at the time of the accident. The plaintiff should have been provided with all necessary safety equipment and been required to use it if he was more than six feet off the ground. Plaintiff claimed that Defendants violated New York Labor Law 240(1), also known as the Scaffold Law, by not providing him with a safe work environment. The plaintiff was taken to Nassau Community Medical Center, where he was treated for several injuries.
INJURIES AND DAMAGES
The plaintiff’s pain was so intense immediately after the accident that he had to be given morphine in the ambulance before reaching the hospital. As a result of the accident, the plaintiff sustained severe injuries to multiple parts of his body. This included a fracture to the L5 vertebrae and disk herniation between the L5-S1 segment. He developed spondylosis, a type of spinal degeneration that results in arthritis.
He suffered from a fracture to his right femur, a pelvic hematoma, and an abdominal aortic aneurysm. The plaintiff had surgery the day after the accident to insert a surgical rod connecting his hip and femur that would help repair the fracture to his femur. He had a second surgery to close a 10-inch fasciotomy wound. The fasciotomy had been performed to relieve swelling in his leg. After the accident, the plaintiff continued to complain of headaches and back pain. Plaintiff claimed to be totally and permanently disabled from his employment as a result of these injuries, and sought damages for lost earnings, medical expenses, and his pain and suffering.
The case settled for $2,700,000 just before trial in Nassau County.
This matter was handled by Partners Daniel P. O’Toole and Scott Occhiogrosso.