$1 Million Settlement - Telephone Field Technician Falls from Ladder

Frank J. Lombardo, partner at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP (WRSH), settled this matter for the $1 million policy limits prior to jury selection, after the defendants’ appeal was denied. The case was handled through discovery by WRSH partner William Hepner.

The 57-year-old plaintiff was a Local 1 Field Technician for Verizon Communication and was performing a total uninstall and reinstall of a building’s telephone and cablevision communications services when he fell from a 10-foot extension ladder. The plaintiff sustained a cervical C5-6 herniated disc, for which he underwent a discectomy and fusion; a tear of the labrum of the right shoulder that required surgical repair; a closed reduction avulsion fracture of the right foot/ankle; and lumbar spine herniations.

The defendants brought a motion to dismiss the Labor Law §240(1) cause of action, contending that the plaintiff was performing routine maintenance as opposed to a significant repair or alteration of a building or structure. They also claimed that his shoulder, neck, and lower back injuries were preexisting from two prior work-related accidents. Wingate Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, was successful in defeating the motion at the Supreme Court level, as well as the defendants’ appeal in the Appellate Division.

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