The victim, a construction mason, fell 45 feet from unstable scaffolding on a job site in Rockland County, NY. The fall resulted in serious injuries to his back, hip, and knee, including broken bones in his neck, back, and knee, hip fractures, and spinal cord as well as a 12-centimeter laceration of the left leg.
The scaffold fall injuries required multiple surgeries to put in (then take out) hardware used to fuse and mend the victim's broken bones and to treat the deep cut. The workers will live with chronic pain, motion loss, and he can’t lift heavy objects — all of which make it impossible for him to return to his old job.
He hired the construction accident attorneys at Raphaelson & Levine to represent him in a lawsuit against the general contractor, Pontiac Holding L.L.C., and the property owner, Bradley Corp. Park. Our firm argued the scaffolding platform was comprised due to unsecured wooden planks. Since the platform was not secured the planks shifted and caused his fall. Additionally, the worker was also not given the proper safety harness, hard hat, or any other equipment that would have prevented the fall.
To prove our client's claim of residual pain and reductions of range of motion, and the inability to lift heavy objects, our firm hired an expert economist who determined that our client could not resume physical labor, and could not find alternative employment, given their limited education and inability to speak English.
The defense counsel contended the victim can perform light-duty construction work or other work, with no reduction of earning capacity. The matter proceeded to mediation and despite an aggressive defense — in what is typically a very plaintiff-unfriendly county — our client was awarded a $2,250,000 injury settlement in Rockland Supreme Court. The defendants were found in violation of Labor Law codes 240(1) and 241(6), which require employers to provide workers with safety equipment.