$3,720,000 Settlement for Laborer With Severe Foot and Ankle Injuries, Including Calcaneus Fracture
Our client, a 28-year-old commercial glass installation laborer, was working on a construction of a three-story building when he stepped on an unsecured hole cover and fell two stories to the ground floor below. As a result of the incident, he suffered serious foot and ankle injuries, including a calcaneus fracture in his left foot. Represented by Partners Daniel O’Toole and Scott Occhiogrosso, he recovered a $3.72 million settlement.
DATE OF SETTLEMENT
COURT AND COUNTY
Supreme Court, Kings County
AGE AND OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF
Plaintiff was 28 years old on the date of the accident. Plaintiff was a commercial glass installation worker when the accident occurred.
FACTS AND ALLEGATIONS
This case involved an accident that occurred on January 7, 2014, in which the Plaintiff, a commercial glass installer, was working on a new construction of a three story commercial property in Bayside, Queens. On the day of the accident, Plaintiff was winding up an extension cord at the end of the workday when he stepped on walk he believed to be a sheet of metal on top of the concrete floor. It was in fact an unsecured hole cover that collapsed, causing Plaintiff to fall two stories to the ground floor.
Plaintiff alleged that the defendants, the building owner and general contractor of the construction site, violated New York State Labor Law sections 240(1), 241(6) and 200 and sections of the New York State Industrial Code in failing to provide a proper safety device to protect workers from the risk of falling through floor cut-outs. Plaintiff alleged that the violations of these Labor Law sections and the application sections of the Industrial Code were the proximate cause of Plaintiff’s accident and resulting injuries.
Defendants argued that there was a wooden barricade in the immediate area of the covered floor opening and that Plaintiff was the sole proximate cause of the accident because he failed to heed the warning and instead walked around the barricade and stepped on the metal cover. In response Plaintiff retained a construction safety engineer who offered the sworn expert opinion that proper construction safety practice required either a proper hole covering that was secured and bolted to the concrete deck, or a proper barricade which barred physical access to the covered hole.
As a result of the accident, the Plaintiff suffered a blow-out fracture of the calcaneus bone in his left foot, as well as tearing of his rotator cuff in his left shoulder. He underwent multiple surgical procedures to his injured foot and ankle, including open reduction and internal fixation with operative hardware and ultimately, ankle fusion. Plaintiff also underwent arthroscopic surgical repair of his injured shoulder.
In the course of Plaintiff’s treatment for his foot and ankle injuries he first had the open infected wound site surgically debrided. He next had a metal plate with 12 screws and a surgical cement compound implanted into the fracture site. Unfortunately Plaintiff developed a pain syndrome related to two of the screws in his foot and ultimately all of the hardware was surgically removed. Plaintiff’s ankle joint was then permanently fused with 2 iron screws.
As a result of the accident he was permanently disabled from construction work.
Plaintiff made claims for past and future medical expenses. Plaintiff also made a claim for past and future lost wages. The claim for future lost wages was supported by the Plaintiff’s treating orthopedic surgeon and vocational rehabilitation expert, who opined that Plaintiff could not return to work as a construction worker. Plaintiff’s expert economist calculated the lost wages 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 $3,720,000 pretrial settlement with the assistance of the Court.
This case was handled by Daniel P. O’Toole, Esq. and Scott Occhiogrosso, Esq.