Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, attorneys Mitchell Kahn and Curt Schiner obtained a $2,950,000 settlement at mediation for a 37-year-old demolition worker who was injured while she was working at a construction site.
Just prior to the accident, the plaintiff and her coworkers had been cutting down ductwork, which was elevated approximately 8 ½ off the ground. During a break, the plaintiff was struck in the back of the head, shoulders, and back by a portion of the duct, which fell/swung down from the duct that was still attached to the bracket/ceiling. The piece of the duct that swung down was approximately 6-8 feet long and weighed approximately 60-80 pounds.
As a result of the accident, the plaintiff sustained injuries to her right wrist, left shoulder, cervical spine, lumbar spine, and head. The plaintiff was required to undergo a cervical fusion at C4-5 and C5-6, a lumbar laminectomy at L4-5 and L5-S1, as well as arthroscopic surgery to her shoulder and wrist.
Defendants argued that Labor Law 240 did not apply to the facts of the case. During depositions, plaintiffs were able to establish that the defendants violated Labor Law 240 by failing to properly secure the duct via the use of ropes, chains, or slings while they were in the process of removing the ductwork. The case was settled prior to motion practice and during mediation.