$2,000,000 Settlement for an Electrician Injured by Falling HVAC Duct
Our client was working as an electrician on the third floor of a Manhattan building when he was suddenly struck by a falling piece of an HVAC duct. The metal had plunged from the fifth floor onto our client’s neck, and the resulting neck and back injuries required two spinal fusion surgeries. Even after the defendant tried to claim his injuries were preexisting, with the help of firm partners, Michael J. Hurwitz and Stephen J. Murphy, our client recovered $2,000,000.
Court and County
Supreme Court, New York County
Our client was a 62-year-old electrician working for D&D Electric Contracting Corp. on the date of the accident.
As our client was working on the third floor at the subject building, without warning, he was struck on his head and the back of his neck by a metal piece of HVAC duct that fell from the fifth floor that was being worked on by Defendant H.A.E. Air, Inc. Our client, an electrician, was working for an electrical subcontractor at the site.
Defendant LSG 105 West 28th LLC was the owner of the property. Defendant Flintlock Construction Services, LLC was the General Contractor and Defendant H.A.E. Air, Inc. was the heating and air Conditioning subcontractor.
Our client was granted summary judgment against Defendants LSG and Flintlock regarding NY State Labor Law section 240(1) and against Defendant H.A.E Air on Labor Law section 200.
Our client felt immediate pain in his head and neck after the accident and gradually pain began in the lumbar spine. After an initial ER presentation, he started a course of physical therapy and pain management. Due to the progression of neck pain and the restrictions it was causing, he was referred for cervical MRI and upper extremity EMG studies which illustrated traumatic pathology including evidence of bilateral C5 radiculopathy. After conservative treatment failed, on February 17, 2018, our client underwent an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion at the C5-C6 and C6-C7 segments.
Due to progression of the lower back pain and the restrictions it was causing our client, he was referred for lumbar MRI and lower extremity EMG studies which illustrated traumatic pathology including evidence of right sided L4 radiculopathy. Our client underwent lumbar injections which failed to provide relief. After conservative treatment failed, on July 17, 2019, our client underwent a posterior lumbar interbody fusion at the L4-L5 and L5-S1 segments. He continues to have significant neck and lower back pain and restrictions.
The Defendants argued that the cervical and lumbar spine injuries claimed were not causally related to the subject accident. Defendants claimed that all diagnostic studies illustrated longstanding degenerative conditions of the cervical and lumbar spine that were pre-existing and that there were no acute traumatic conditions found on the radiology studies resulting from the accident.
Additionally, regarding the lumbar spine the defense claimed that our client had a prior significant disc herniation from an injury in 2013 that required surgical intervention. The defense experts further argued this would result in a remaining partial disc, unstable and certainly capable of further degeneration without further trauma, which is what happened in this matter. Defendants argued that the cervical and lumbar spine surgeries were not necessitated by the subject accident.
Defendants also argued that our client’s injuries are all resolved, and he does not require any further treatment and he can participate in all activities of daily living without restrictions.
This case was handled by firm partners, Michael J. Hurwitz and Stephen J. Murphy.