Kenneth Halperin and Noah Katz, attorneys with Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP obtained a $2,125,000 recovery within two years of plaintiff’s accident, prior to defendants’ depositions being conducted, and several years prior to trial. Our client was a laborer on a project which involved the construction of a new high-rise building.

In the moment before his accident, our client was instructed by his foreman to clean a floor and remove all debris and material from the floor surface. As our client performed his job, he lifted a piece of plywood from the floor surface. After lifting it he took one step forward and fell through a hole in the floor a distance of 15 feet to the floor below.

Our client was unaware that the plywood he just raised was covering a hole. Based on the way in which the accident occurred, defendants argued that the plaintiff was to blame for the accident for lifting the wood and exposing the hole he fell through.

We demonstrated through the evidence, however, that plaintiff was unaware of the hole before he was instructed to clear the floor and that, in any event, it was defendants’ responsibility to secure the hole with wood that was fastened, and which could not be moved and, secondly, that a warning should have been provided to workers on site that wood was covering exposed holes which presented a fall risk.

As a result of his fall, our client sustained a head injury and multiple rib fractures. The defendants contended that the plaintiff’s injuries were not as severe as our client claimed, and that the impact on his life presently and into the future was not changed by his injuries. We showed through medical evidence that plaintiff’s injuries continue to have an impact on his ability to work, and other daily lifestyle activities as a consequence of his head injury. Ultimately, the case settled at mediation after our client’s deposition, and long before placing this case on the trial calendar.

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