45-year-old Man Injured in an Accident on a Construction Site
Huether, John v. NYC Times Building
WRSH Partner, Kenneth Halperin obtained a settlement at a mediation in the amount of $1,650,000 for a 45-year-old man who was injured in an accident on a construction site.
The accident in question occurred during the construction of the New York Times building located at 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, New York. Plaintiff and his co-workers were in the process of removing construction materials from the back of a delivery truck onto a loading dock. Due to a space between the rear of the truck and the dock, plaintiff's co-workers placed a metal plate over the gap and created a ramp. This was needed so that the dolly they were using to off-load the materials could be moved onto and off of the truck.
As they were moving multiple sheets of drywall off the truck the wheel of the dolly pushed the metal plate into the gap. This caused the dolly to tip over and as a result the drywall boards fell onto the plaintiff's right leg.
We proceeded with a case pursuant to Labor Law -200(1) and -241(6). A significant part of the case, however, hinged upon our ability to prove that the defendants violated Labor Law 241(6). In order to do this we had to establish a violation of the New York State Industrial Code. There was, however, only one section that arguably applied to this accident. Defendants argued that this code section regarding "structural ramps" did not pertain to the unsecured metal plate that was the cause of this accident. At the time of the settlement they had a motion pending to dismiss the case. Based upon the significant amount of the settlement it was clear that we convinced the defendants in our opposition papers, which were supported by an extensive expert affidavit, that they were not going to be successful.
As a result of the accident, plaintiff sustained tears of the anterior cruciate ligament, posterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament, and meniscus in his right knee, which required reconstructive surgery and a fractured right ankle which was treated with a closed reduction. He was also unable to return to work as a carpenter, but was capable of finding other employment. We were able to establish a significant loss of earnings claim based upon the difference between what he would have made as a carpenter compared with what he was capable of earning in a new profession.