This case was resolved at mediation before Mediator Shelly Olsen. The award was for a 52-year old plaintiff carpenter, working at a commercial building under new construction. Plaintiff contended that the defendant was liable under Labor Law Sec. 240 (1) for failing to provide fall protection. The Plaintiff maintained that he fell 18 feet from an unsecured extension ladder.
Labor Law Sec. 240(1) - Plaintiff carpenter at site of commercial building under construction falls 18 feet from ladder - Bilateral wrist fractures - Cervical herniation - Inability to work - Need for future medical care.
The accident occurred in the morning while the Plaintiff's foreman was using the only scissor lift available at the site. That morning the foreman advised Plaintiff, that the scissor lift would be available in the afternoon. The defendant contended Plaintiff was the sole proximate cause of his accident for failing to wait until the afternoon to perform the work he was doing at the time of the accident.
The Plaintiff countered that he was only instructed to use the scissor lift in the afternoon and there were no instructions not to work in the morning. Since the safety device relied upon by defendants in their defense, was not available in the morning, the defense fails.
At trial, The plaintiff would have also pointed out that the ladder was not tied off, did not have proper footings or hooks at the top of the ladder, nor was an assistant holding and securing the bottom of the ladder.
The plaintiff suffered bilateral wrist fractures and required surgery on the left, non-dominant side.The plaintiff also maintained that he suffered a cervical herniation that was confirmed by MRI and required fusion surgery.
The plaintiff, who earned approximately $44,000 in the year prior to the incident, contended that he is permanently unemployable.The plaintiff also contended that he will require future care, including pain management as well as physical and occupational therapy.
The case resolved by Mediated Settlement, prior to trial for $1,850,000 before JAMS mediator, Shelly Olsen