1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Verdicts & Settlements
  4.  » $4 Million Result for Bronx Worker Injured in Scaffold Fall

$4,000,000 Result for Bronx Worker Who Suffered Back, Neck, and Shoulder Injuries in Fall from Scaffolding

In April 2021, our client, a union member, stepped onto a four-foot-high unsecured scaffolding plank, which dislodged, causing him to fall onto his lower back while working at a Bronx construction site. As a result, he underwent an L4-5 discectomy and fusion. He was 32 years old at the time of the accident. His injuries rendered him incapable of working since the accident and caused him great stress about caring for his wife and children. Represented by Partner Daniel O’Toole, and Associate Joshua Stern, he received a $4,000,000 settlement. Although the money will not alleviate his pain, it helped alleviate his anxiety knowing he can financially take care of his wife and young children. We were also able to negotiate a complete waiver of his worker’s compensation lien.

Court and County
Supreme Court, Queens County

Description of Case
The case arose out of an accident which occurred at a construction site wherein the then 32-year-old Plaintiff was working for a general contractor performing framing work. His accident occurred while he was transporting a 30-pound material sample to measure for framing to a lower level, which required him to descend onto a bicycle scaffolding. Unfortunately, the planks of the scaffolding he stepped onto were not tied; however, when stepping onto them, he did not know they were unsecured. Because the planks were untied, they shifted underneath his feet, causing him to fall onto his lower back.  

Based on these facts, Plaintiff moved for summary judgment arguing that this gravity-related accident was the result of the Defendants’ violation of New York’s Labor Law §240, a statute designed to protect workers from gravity-related risks. The matter was settled when the parties appeared for oral argument of the motion, so the motion was never decided.


As to damages, Plaintiff injured his neck, back, and shoulder in the accident. The back was his most serious injury. He took a taxi home from work after the accident, but as the pain got worse, he went to the emergency room that evening. He then began a course of unsuccessful conservative treatment, including pain management and physical therapy. Plaintiff’s lower extremity complaints were confirmed via EMG/NCV. This objective test confirmed right L4-S1 radiculopathy and L5-S1 radiculopathy. After consulting with a spine specialist, the decision was made to proceed with lumbar surgery, and he underwent lumbar discectomy and fusion at L4-5.

Plaintiff’s physical medicine and rehabilitation treating expert cared for him since shortly after the accident. He provided an opinion regarding the anticipated future medical needs and the costs associated with this treatment. He opined that Plaintiff will require future visits with a spine specialist, orthopedist, pain specialist, physical therapist, diagnostician, and require him to undergo another lumbar fusion. He also opined that Plaintiff was and will continue to be disabled from employment, due to an impaired ability to sit for prolonged periods of time, as well as impaired ability to lift, carry, push, and pull.

Our economists provided a report regarding the expected costs of lifelong medical treatment related to the injuries sustained in the accident as an element of damages, this report accounted for expected future growth rates of each modality of future treatment. That amount totaled $1,073,142. They also analyzed his prior earnings, union records, and employment records to determine what he would have earned should he have continued his union work. Given his inability to return to the workforce as opined by Plaintiff’s treating doctors, his elementary school education, and inability to read, write, and speak English, it was opined that he will suffer the following income related losses: Loss in the employer funding of the annuity of $388,292.00; Loss in social security retirement income of $298,893.00; Loss in the employer funding of the pension of $893,386.00; and Income loss of $2,671,180.00.

Defendants hired their own experts to evaluate Plaintiff. Their doctors argued that the injuries were degenerative in nature, thus not causatively related to the accident. Defendants’ vocational rehabilitation expert opined that Plaintiff was capable of various forms of gainful employment.

Settlement Amount
The parties resolved this case in court, following a private mediation, for $4,000,000.

Handling Attorneys
The case was handled by partner Daniel O’Toole with associate Joshua Stern.

Speak with a Qualified New York Injury Lawyer Today

Fill out our short online contact form for a FREE, immediate case review, or call us locally at 212-736-5300 today. The lawyers in our firm work on a contingency basis, so we do not collect any money unless we win your case.