Construction Injury - On the Job Injury

WRSH partners, Philip Russotti and Kenneth Halperin settled the case at mediation for $3,750,000.00. Our client, a 50 year old bricklayer, contended that as a dumpster, situated on the forks of a hoisting machine was descending on a ramp, it toppled approximately six inches above the ground, pinning him against a wall. WRSH Partner Mitch Kahn was able to establish during depositions that the dumpster was not properly secured and established numerous reasons as to why the dumpster was caused to fall off the forks of the hoisting machine onto the plaintiff. The plaintiff maintained that irrespective of whether the dumpster fell because the container was not properly secured, had inadequate hydraulics or if it was driven onto a flimsy ramp, the container was not properly operated or secured by hooks which were available to prevent it from falling and that the defendants owner and GC should be absolutely liable under Labor Law Sec. 240 (1). The plaintiff maintained that he suffered bilateral crush fractures to the feet, has already required three surgeries, including an arthrodecis, and that future surgery may be required. The plaintiff contended that he will suffer permanent pain that will require pain medication, has a limp and that he is permanently unemployable in a physical labor position.

The plaintiff related that as the load was descending the ramp, a wheel at the right front corner broke off. He indicated that as he and another worker pushed from behind, another wheel, at the left front corner also broke off. The plaintiff then squatted in order to pick up the now wheel-less front end of the device. Plaintiff’s foreman, who was at the back of the device moved the device forward, which was not a movement the plaintiff was expecting. The device fell forward onto the plaintiff, pinning him against the wall.

The defense moved for Summary Judgment, denying that Sec. 240 should apply. The plaintiff countered that even if the elevation was very slight, it was nonetheless the effect of gravity which caused it to fall onto and injure plaintiff. The plaintiff cross-moved for Summary Judgment on the Sec. 240 claim, and the motions were pending at the time of the settlement.

The case settled for $3,750,000 after two days of mediation.

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