$5,500,000 Award for NYPD Officer Who Suffered Serious Injuries in the Line of Duty
Our client, a 32-year-old member of the NYPD Emergency Service Unit, suffered serious injuries to his left shoulder as a result of falling from the top of an ESU Truck while responding to a report of a dangerous condition. Our client established that The City of New York was responsible for the accident and the matter was settled for $5,500,000 prior to trial.
Court and County
Supreme Court, New York County
At the time of the accident, our client was a 32-year-old NYPD Emergency Service Unit Police Officer.
Description of Case
At the time of the accident, our client was a New York City Police Officer assigned to the Emergency Service Unit. He and his partner responded to a call of a dangerous condition where a large tree branch was dangling over a New York City roadway and was in danger of falling. Our client and his partner parked their ESU truck under the branch and proceeded to climb to the top of the truck, which was used by ESU members as a working surface, to cut the tree branch down and prevent it from falling onto the roadway.
While our client was in the process of setting up to cut the tree branch down, a bin ladder door located on top of the roof of the ESU truck collapsed under his weight and he fell off the roof of the truck to the street below.
The action was brought under General Municipal Law 205-e, which permits an officer to bring an action against their employer for injuries sustained in the line of duty because of the failure of the employer to comply with statutes, ordinances, rules, or orders. It was alleged that The City of New York violated 29 C.F.R. 1910.28 by failing to provide our client with proper fall protection while working at an elevated height.
Our client made a motion for summary judgment, seeking to hold Defendant, The City of New York, responsible for the accident. Our attorneys successfully argued that Defendant was negligent in violating 29 C.F.R. 1910.28 and the Court held that Defendant was responsible for the accident as a matter of law.
Injuries and Damages
Our client fell approximately 10-15 feet onto the cobblestone street below and landed on his head, left shoulder and back. He was taken by ambulance to Bellevue Hospital where he was diagnosed with a displaced scapula fracture extending into the glenoid joint and a clavicle fracture. Due to his injuries, our client needed open reduction and internal fixation surgery to repair his fractured shoulder.
While the surgery resulted in the successful healing of the shoulder fracture, our client experienced post-operative clicking of the shoulder and severe pain in the left shoulder and arm, with numbness in the left pinky and ring fingers. An MRI revealed an impingement of the suprascapular nerve. As a result, he underwent a second surgery to remove the hardware placed in his left shoulder during the initial surgery. Unfortunately, following surgery his condition worsened, requiring a third surgery that consisted of an arthroscopic debridement, biceps tenodesis, and suprascapular nerve release.
While the third surgery vastly improved our client’s condition, he continued to suffer left shoulder and left arm pain, limited range of motion, and weakness.
Approximately one year following the accident, our client returned to work as a New York City Police Officer, although in a limited capacity. He continued to work until the NYPD determined that he could no longer perform the full duties and responsibilities of a police officer due to his injuries. As a result, he was retired by the New York City Police Department.
The case was settled prior to trial for $5,500,000
The case was handled by Partners Jeffrey A. Block and S. Joseph Donahue