Douglas Milch, of counsel with Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, obtained a $950,000 settlement for a 42-year-old construction worker who fell from a roof while working on a Long Island residential construction project.

The plaintiff was directed by his supervisor to work at the top of the building and install metal straps to the wooden framing of the roof, approximately 56 feet high. In order to accomplish this task, the plaintiff was required to stand on and straddle a single narrow rafter about 2.5 inches wide with nothing to hold on to. As a consequence of the fall, the plaintiff sustained an injury to his spine that required emergency surgery.

At deposition, Doug was able to prove that although this was the first time the plaintiff had ever performed this particular task, the supervising general contractor did not provide the plaintiff with any specific training or instruction prior to the date of the accident.

Doug was then able to obtain an admission from the general contractor that he had failed to provide the plaintiff with a safety harness, safety belt, safety rope, lifeline, or any other safety device, despite knowledge that the type of work the plaintiff was performing called for such devices.

By obtaining these admissions, Doug was able to obtain a summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff well before trial was even scheduled. This win resulted an efficient resolution much earlier than usual in similar cases.