Carmine Goncalves of Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, with the assistance of attorney Bryce Moses, obtained a $4,500,000 settlement for a 44-year-old construction worker from Brazil who was caused to slip and fall on a wet floor while carrying a metal post at a construction site. The matter settled at a private mediation days before the jury trial was to start.
The plaintiff was crossing a newly poured concrete floor which was open to the elements and wet due to prior rainfall. He and his coworkers were tasked with transporting posts from one location in the basement to another; these posts would act as supports for the erection of the first-floor deck. There was no other path the workers could take; due to the accumulation of water, he slipped and fell backwards.
As a consequence of the accident, the plaintiff sustained injuries to his neck, left shoulder, knee and back; he required both neck and back surgeries, each at two levels with fixation of the discs and arthroscopic surgery to his left shoulder. Plaintiff obtained partial summary judgment against the defendant pursuant to Labor Law Sect. 241(6). However, the issue of comparative fault, if any, was to be determined by a jury. The defendants argued that Plaintiff’s culpability was high because they alleged that he was aware of the conditions at the site and should have acted accordingly. Carmine would have countered this argument with a witness (plaintiff’s coworker) who would have testified that no other safe path was provided to the workers and that knowledge of the condition would not have prevented the accident because Plaintiff had no choice but to walk through this dangerous area.