On June 6, 2016 our client was working at 1211 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan. He was a construction worker who was finishing up some painting work. Inside of the building, he was working on a floor which had two levels. On the date of his accident, the injured worker was supposed to be working on the lower level. In order to get to the lower level, he was forced to climb down a ladder which was permanently in place at the building prior to the project beginning. As he began to move down the ladder, his foot slipped causing him to fall to the concrete floor below.
In New York, building owners and general contractors have a duty to keep a workplace safe and ensure that the workers have all of the safety materials needed to do their job safely. It is important that the workers both have and know that this safety equipment is available for their use. Without it, tragic accidents can and do happen. The Platta Law Firm specializes in handling construction accidents where owners and general contractors charged with the safety of their workers, let them down.
In this case, The Platta Law Firm discovered that just a few weeks prior to the incident, the defendants removed vital safety equipment. At the beginning of the job, scaffolds and extension ladders were set up so that workers like our client could descend safely to the lower level. However, we uncovered that the scaffolds were removed towards the end of the job for no other reason than the convenience of the general contractor, who had multiple other jobs going on at the time of this accident. The removal of this vital safety equipment forced the injured construction worker to use a permanently affixed steel ladder. Unfortunately, this ladder was not equipped with any anti-slip material on the rungs. In fact, the steel rungs had been painted, making it extra slick. It was only a matter of time until somebody slipped on this ladder and was badly injured.
As a result of his fall, the injured construction worker broke a bone in his leg near his knee. In addition to the fracture, he needed two arthroscopic surgeries to repair damage done to his knee in the fall. The fall also caused multiple discs in his neck to herniate. When a disc is herniated, it applies pressure to nerves in the spine. As a result, he had to undergo a significant and serious neck surgery, where a doctor implanted hardware into his vertebra to fuse them together. This left him with a limited range of motion in his neck and continued pain. Finally, he also underwent left shoulder surgery to repair additional damage to his rotator cuff from the fall.
The defendants, as defendants tend to do, denied responsibility. Although they had no reasonable excuse for removing the scaffolding, they claimed that they had extension ladders available for use by the construction workers. This is in direct contraction with the injured workers testimony. He was very clear that the only way to get to the lower floor was this poorly maintained permanent ladder. In fact, he testified that he looked around the entire area for an extension ladder that he could set up properly and he could not find one.
Despite this unwavering testimony, the defendants continued with their position throughout the duration of the litigation. The intended to call witnesses which would contradict the injured worker and claimed that safer ladders were indeed available. They also tried to claim that the ladder injured construction worker was forced to use was safe – which just was not the case. In cases like these, where defendants refuse to accept responsibility, sometimes the only answer is trial. The parties began trial on this case on Monday. After multiple days of jury selection, the defendants relented. As the case became clear, it was obvious that the defendants would need to settle the case. We were able to convince the defendants that this construction worker was irreparably injured because they failed to keep him safe. Because of their actions he was never going to be able to work as a construction worker again. Because of the work of the Platta Law Firm, he will never have to. The Platta Law Firm was able to settle this case for $3,100,000.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a construction accident, please reach out to us for a free legal consultation by calling 24/7 at 212-514-5100, emailing me at email@example.com 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 website (www.plattalaw.com). We offer free consultations for all potential personal injury cases.