Labor Law §240(1) and §241(6) protects construction workers from dangers that are unique to construction work including hand truck accidents. These laws ensure that construction workers in New York have greater protections under the law than workers in other states. Construction site accidents can cause severe injuries. Accordingly, personal injury lawsuits arising from construction site accidents can be result in large verdicts or settlements. These are some recent verdicts of note.
Falling Load from Hand Truck
In one case, a 38- year-old construction laborer suffered an accident when 24 panels of drywall fell from a hand truck and landed on him. As a result of this accident, the worker suffered a fractured left tibia and fibula. These injuries required two surgeries. The worker first had an open reduction and external fixation. After that, he had an open reduction and internal fixation with fibular osteotomy and autogenous iliac crest bone graft.
The plaintiff alleged the defendants violated Labor Law §241(6) as the superintended ordered the workers to modify the hand truck by adding a board to the toe plate so as to increase its capacity and failed to clear the floor of debris on the floor that was supposed to be removed. The defendants claimed that the plaintiff was not performing construction work but was instead performing delivery work when using the hand truck, and that any violation of Labor Law §241(6) was not the proximate cause of injury. The case went to trial and the jury reached a verdict for the plaintiff. The jury found the defendants violated Labor Law §241(6). They awarded damages in the amount of $2,025,000 for his hand truck accident. Of the $2,025,000, the jury awarded $225,000 for past medical expenses and $1,800,000 for pain and suffering.
In another (non-hand truck) accident, a worker was working as an electrician performing work at Shea Stadium. The project included renovation, construction, erection, repair, alteration, painting, pointing, installation and expansion of a player’s weight room under the right field bleachers at the stadium. The worker was running a one-inch conduit for the new electrical service to the weight room. He was working on a ladder while laying conduit when he was caused to fall from the ladder. He landed on the concrete and metal beams below. The plaintiff alleged severed injuries and significant medical expenses as a result of the fall.
Both sides made motions for summary judgment, each claiming that the other was liable for the accident. Eventually, the defendant conceded liability (accepted responsibility for the accident). The case proceeded to a bench trial. The judge awarded the plaintiff $3,850,000 in damages.
Construction and Hand Truck Accident Attorneys Who Get Results
These are obviously really good results for the plaintiffs. The downside to going to trial is that the defendants will have the right to appeal these decisions. However, it is likely that these decisions will stand, or at most, be reduced slightly. Contact our experienced hand truck accident attorney at The Platta Law Firm to help you get the compensation you deserve.