Construction Accident - Slip and Fall

WRSH partner Kenneth Halperin obtained a settlement in the amount of $1,050,000 and a waiver of the client’s $237,000 workers’ compensation lien for a 47-year-old carpenter who was injured on a construction site.

The accident in question occurred while the plaintiff was in the process of removing timbers from a crane pontoon, necessitated by the fact that the crane had ceased operating. While he was in the course of performing his duties, he slipped and fell on a slippery surface that consisted of grease and/or oil left over from the crane. We alleged that this slipping hazard constituted a violation of the New York State Industrial Code.

The defendants argued that since the oil and/or grease came from the crane and was required for use of the crane, even though it was inoperable, the grease and/or oil were required to be there and thus there was no violation. Additionally, they had in their possession a statement from the plaintiff that was prepared by him after the accident wherein he did not mention the specific substances that caused him to fall. We argued that this was of no moment because at the time plaintiff was merely describing what happened in general terms and not preparing for litigation where he would have thought or considered to put down every detail. In fact, he was able to work for several days after the accident until the pain finally prevented him from continuing.

At the time of the settlement, motions on behalf of the general contractor and crane company to dismiss the plaintiff’s case were pending before the Court.

As a result of the accident, plaintiff underwent two surgeries to his lower back. Plaintiff did have a long-standing history for over thirty (30) years of pain in his lower back that required intermittent treatment. We argued that despite this, he was able to work in construction and that the accident made his condition worse and necessitated the two surgeries.

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