Construction Accident - Ladder Fall Injury

WRSH partners Mitchell Kahn and Kenneth Halperin obtained a $4,100,000.00 settlement for a 44-year-old Carpenter who was injured while working at a construction site. At the time of the accident the plaintiff was using a 6-foot A-Frame ladder to affix nail plywood to the ceiling, which was approximately 9 feet from the floor. After the plaintiff managed to install one fastener to the ceiling, and was proceeding to install the second one, “the ladder suddenly moved away from him” towards the left and fell over. As a result of the ladder moving and falling, the plaintiff fell to the floor.

During depositions we were able to establish that the defendants failed to provide the plaintiff with the proper type of ladder and protective device for the type of work being performed. After discovery, we made a motion for summary judgment. The defendants’ strongly opposed this motion attempting to establish that plaintiff was the sole proximate cause of his accident. We were successful in defeating this argument and were awarded summary judgment on liability pursuant to Labor Law 240 (1).

As a result of the accident the plaintiff sustained a torn meniscus to the right knee, herniation’s at L4-5 and L5-S1, and a traumatic brain injury. The plaintiff required arthroscopy/partial medial meniscectomy to the right knee; a lumbar fusion at L4-5 and L5-S1, a thoracic discectomy and fusion at T11-L1.

The defendants' medical experts contended that both of the plaintiffs' back operations were not related to the accident and further that their injuries were preexisting. Defendants also argued that plaintiff did not sustain a traumatic brain injury and had no residuals from the accident. We were able to establish that the injuries to the plaintiffs back were exacerbations of pre-existing conditions that were asymptomatic at the time of the accident and allowed him to work.

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