$3 Million Settlement for Worker with Severe Ankle Injuries After On-the-Job Accident
During a large renovation project in Brooklyn, our client fell from a commercial air conditioning unit that lacked any form of guards, rails, or adjacent scaffolding. The 8-foot fall led to serious ankle and leg fractures, including a trimalleolar fracture, and required five surgeries to date. His extensive injuries have destroyed his mobility and any potential of working as a laborer. Represented by Partners Stephen Murphy and David Scher, he received a $3 million settlement.
Court and County
Supreme Court, Kings County
Our client was a 57-year-old laborer at the time of the accident.
Description of Case
This is a Labor Law 240(1) case involving a fall from a substantial height that occurred during the renovation of a department store in Brooklyn. While working for a sheet metal company, our client fell from atop a large commercial A/C unit in the basement of a Brooklyn department store during a large renovation project. He fell about 8 feet down onto concrete and landed on his left foot, badly fracturing his ankle and lower leg. This accident was completely preventable, as there was no guard railing or adjacent scaffolding installed by his employer to prevent such a fall from the edge of the unit he was working on.
After the accident, our client was rushed to the emergency room. His co-worker and foreman made statements that the fall was not the fault of our client. His injuries have prevented him from working as a laborer. He has suffered through years of therapy and five surgeries, all due to the negligence of his former employer to install guard rails and scaffolding at the job site.
As a result of the fall, our client suffered severe ankle and lower leg injuries. At the hospital, he was diagnosed with comminuted fractures of the distal tibia and fibula, including trimalleolar fracture and valgus angulation of the dominant fracture fragments.
His injuries have required years of therapy and he has undergone five surgeries spanning from 2018 to 2021. These included hardware installation of an external fixator at multiple planes and debridement of medial malleolar tissue. He returned for maintenance of the injuries and hardware to assist healing, including incision and drainage and application of PICO Vac external fixator. Finally, he had to undergo the removal of the external fixator hardware. Just a few months later, our client again had to go under the knife for a total ankle replacement and left tendon Achilles lengthening.
Our client experiences pain every day and now has limited mobility. His orthopedist has advised that future treatment could include ankle fusion and further surgery.
Because of these injuries, our client was advised by doctors that he would never be able to walk any significant distance or do strenuous work again, like climbing a ladder. A longtime construction worker, our client relied on his physical condition to earn a living. This accident irrevocably destroyed his ability to work as a laborer.
The case settled for $3,000,000.
This matter was handled by Partners Stephen J. Murphy and David L. Scher.