A scaffolding foreman in his early forties working at a prominent midtown Manhattan address suffered a devastating fall that left him paralyzed from the waist down. A pretrial settlement secured his future forever, albeit in quite sad circumstances.
It all began when the man and two co-workers were working upon an improvised scaffold with their weight partially supported by a wooden plank. The plank snapped, causing this foreman to fall 40 feet and become paralyzed from the waist down. There was no additional safety equipment present that might have prevented or mitigated the severity of the accident.
The man sued a variety of parties involved in ownership of the building, alleging that they violated two statutes of the New York State Labor Law. One statute was related to elevation hazards and the other was related to providing a safe worksite.
Defense counsel callously countered that the man was the sole cause of the accident, arguing that he had absolute control over the means and methods of his work. In fact, he set up the structure in question.
The parties were set to appear for trial. The plaintiff claimed that as an active person who regularly participated in sports, his life has been changed in innumerable ways. He sought damages for lost wages, past and present, past and future medical costs, as well as pain and suffering. Additionally, his wife claimed a loss of consortium.
In lieu of overwhelming injuries and proof of liability, defendants settled this case at mediation prior to trial for $13 million.
To compare this result, it is important to mention that in a similar case, a client of a different law firm also fell 40 feet, but his case was dismissed before trial. The law in question was the same that related to the first case. That law states that absolute liability applies to owners of a site when a worker is not provided with safety devices to protect them from falls from a height. While the plaintiff’s case was dismissed by the trial judge, his attorneys were able to reverse the decision on appeal. The case subsequently settled for several million dollars.
These cases illustrate the importance of having attorneys with the experience to get positive results for their clients. It can make all the difference to the plaintiff and his or her family.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of an accident, please reach out to us for a free legal consultation by calling us 24/7 at 212– 514–5100, emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visiting our law firm in lower Manhattan (42 Broadway, Suite 1927). You can also ask us questions through the 24-hour chat box on our our website (www.plattalaw.com).
We offer free consultations for all potential personal injury cases.
Slawek W. Platta, Esq.