On June 6, 2016, a construction worker had a ladder fall accident and needed the assistance of one of our lawyers. At the time, he was working at 1211 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan. He was a construction worker who was finishing up some painting work. Inside the building, he was working on a floor that had two levels. On the date of his accident, the injured worker received instructions to work on the lower level. In order to get to the lower level, he had to climb down a ladder. The only ladder available was one that was permanently affixed to the building’s wall. This ladder was in place prior to the project beginning.
His ladder fall accident occurred while descending. 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. They have to ensure that construction 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.
Lawyers That Get Results
The Platta Law Firm, PLLC specializes in handling construction accidents. This includes accidents where owners and general contractors fail to keep their workers safe. In this case, The Platta Law Firm sued the owners and general contractor (the defendants). We discovered that the defendants removed vital safety equipment just a few weeks prior to the ladder fall accident. At the beginning of the job, scaffolds and extension ladders were placed in the work area. These scaffolds and ladders ensured that workers like our client could descend safely to the lower level. However, the defendants removed the scaffolds towards the end of the job. The scaffold removal was done solely for the convenience of the general contractor, who had multiple other jobs going on at the time of this accident.
A Dangerous Ladder
The removal of this vital safety equipment forced the injured construction worker to use a permanently affixed steel ladder. Ladders should have anti-slip material on its rungs. Unfortunately, this ladder did not. In fact, the rungs of this ladder were painted. This made the ladder extra slippery. It was only a matter of time until somebody slipped on this ladder and was badly injured. This ladder fall accident was inevitable.
Injuries from the Ladder Fall
As a result of his ladder fall accident, 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 the damage done to his knee in the fall. The ladder fall also caused multiple discs in his neck to herniate. These herniated discs put pressure on the nerves in his 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 for this ladder fall accident. 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 worker’s testimony. He testified that this poorly maintained permanent ladder was the only way to get to the lower floor. 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 argued that the ladder our client was forced to use was safe. This was not true. In cases like this ladder fall accident, where defendants refuse to accept responsibility, sometimes the only answer is trial.
Resolving the Ladder Fall Accident Case with our Lawyers
The parties proceeded to trial. After multiple days of jury selection, the defendants relented. It became clear that the defendants would need to settle the case. We convinced the defendants that our client 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. Lawyers from The Platta Law Firm were able to settle this ladder fall accident case for $3,100,000.