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$4,500,000 Settlement for Worker Violently Struck by a Hoist Gate

Our client, a 44-year-old laborer, was working at a construction site in NoMad, Manhattan when an elevator accident left him with serious and permanent injuries. He was operating personnel hoists as part of a large-scale new construction project. The heavy upper gate of the one of the hoists suddenly fell and struck his head and back, knocking him down to the floor and rendering unconscious for a brief period. As a result of the accident, he sustained serious spinal, knee, and ankle injuries. Represented by Partners Daniel O’Toole and Fred Aranki, he received a $4.5 million settlement.

Court and County
Supreme, Kings

Case Summary
This case arises out of an accident at a construction site on May 18, 2016, in New York, New York. Plaintiff, a 44-year-old laborer, was employed by a subcontractor of the General Contractor as a laborer and operated the personnel hoists being used as part of a large-scale construction project that involved the new construction of buildings in Manhattan. The accident occurred when the large, heavy upper gate of one of the hoists fell and violently struck the head and neck of the Plaintiff, causing his body to twist and fall to the floor. He was seriously and permanently injured as a result of this accident.

Just prior to the accident, the Plaintiff noticed that the hoist’s gate was not closing properly. Plaintiff spoke with an employee of the company that installed, maintained and serviced the personnel hoists, who was the person that regularly maintained the hoist, in an effort to repair the gate. Our client was standing half inside the hoist and half outside the hoist, and was discussing the issue with the hoist doors with the hoist maintainer when the upper gate door fell on him. Plaintiff was knocked to the floor and briefly lost consciousness after the gate slammed the back of his head and neck.

At the close of discovery the Plaintiff moved for summary judgment on the issue of liability against the General Contractor and the building owner based on Labor Law section 240. This motion was granted by the Court. Plaintiff’s negligence claims against the company that installed, maintained and serviced the personnel hoists remained and would have been the subject of a liability trial had the case not settled before trial.

As a result of the accident the Plaintiff suffered serious injuries to his cervical spine, lumber spine, right knee, and left ankle. He underwent diagnostic testing of these body parts and conservative treatment which ultimately failed. He eventually required cervical spine surgery and lumbar spine surgery, both of which included implantation of permanent hardware in his cervical spine and lumbar spine.

Plaintiff also underwent diagnostic testing of his right knee and left ankle. Again, conservative treatment was unsuccessful in alleviating his pain and restrictions and he required arthroscopic surgeries to repair the damage to his right knee and left ankle.

Plaintiff was not able to return to work in any capacity as a result of his injuries, as per the opinions of his treating surgeons. Plaintiff’s expert Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialist also opined that he was disabled from employment. This expert also opined that Plaintiff would need lifelong treatment to his cervical spine, lumbar spine, right knee and left ankle due to the injuries he suffered in the accident and that this treatment would be associated with costs.

Plaintiff made claims for past medical expenses, future cost of healthcare and lost wages due to being disabled from employment. Plaintiff also made claims for past and future pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

Settlement Amount
This matter settled prior to trial for $4,500,000.

Handling Attorneys
This case was handled by firm Partners Daniel O’Toole and Fred Aranki.

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