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$4.475 Million Awarded to Children of Ironworker Killed in a Wrongful Death Case

In a wrongful death case, our client, a union ironworker, was helping renovate an old apartment. He was walking along the first floor, which was weak and unstable from undergoing significant reconstruction. Our client was not informed of the floor’s instability, and it gave way as he walked across it, causing him to fall and sustain massive internal injuries. Tragically, he died from his injuries, leaving behind a wife and two young children. The firm was able to obtain a $4,475,000 settlement for them.

COURT AND COUNTY
Supreme Court, New York County

AGE AND OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF
Plaintiff was a 34-year-old construction worker.

DESCRIPTION OF CASE
Plaintiff-Decedent, a 34-year-old union ironworker foreman, was working at a construction site involving the complete gut renovation of a single-family apartment in Manhattan. The plaintiff was walking on the first floor of the building while wheeling a cylinder full of compressed air. The hallway the plaintiff was walking through was particularly old and in the process of undergoing significant reconstruction. This included work on the integral structure of the floor. The temporary flooring on which the plaintiff walked was weak and unstable. It had been cut prior to the accident to allow for the insertion of a new beam which had not yet been installed. The shoring that helps support the floor had also been removed, making the floor unfit for use and unable to support the plaintiff walking above. The plaintiff was not made aware of any damage or structural deficits to the floor that would make it unsafe. The plaintiff also did not remove any of the structural components of the floor himself.

The floor gave way under the plaintiff without warning. He landed on his torso, which led to massive internal injury, including internal bleeding and several broken bones. The plaintiff remained conscious after the fall and was in extreme pain. He was observed holding his head, screaming, and groaning in pain. The plaintiff was rushed to the hospital immediately after the accident. When he arrived, he had to be sedated due to his pain and the violent contractions of his arms and legs. He passed away approximately an hour after the accident.

INJURIES AND DAMAGES
The plaintiff sustained severe injuries to several parts of his body, which resulted in his untimely death. Due to blunt impact to the torso, the plaintiff suffered fractures to his sternum and several ribs. Contusions of the heart and lungs were also discovered. The fall also resulted in hemothoraces, which is the accumulation of blood in the pleural cavity which surrounds the lungs. There was also blood found in the hemopericardium, which surrounds the heart. Blunt impact to the upper right arm resulted in the laceration of the plaintiff’s elbow.

The plaintiff was 34 at the time of his death. He left behind a 3-year-old daughter and a 1-year old son, along with his common-law wife. The plaintiff’s young children lost the parental guidance and support of their father, as well as the economic support he would have provided throughout their young lives.

SETTLEMENT AMOUNT
The case settled for $4,475,000. The settlement funds are being placed in a structured annuity which will pay the children approximately $22,000,000 over the course of their lives.

ATTORNEYS
This case was handled by Partners Daniel P. O’Toole and Frederick C. Aranki.

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