Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, partner Frank J. Lombardo settled this case during a settlement conference with the Court after motions for summary judgment regarding Labor Law §240(1) issues. The plaintiff was a 57-year-old laborer who fell from an A-frame ladder that was leaning against the wall while she was painting the interior of the defendant doctor’s office.

The plaintiff sustained a tear of the ACL of the left knee and a tear of the right knee medical meniscus, both of which required arthroscopic repairs. The plaintiff returned to work within six months of the surgical procedures in a more sedentary position and an increased in salary.

Defense counsel contended that this was an unwitnessed accident and that the plaintiff denied any injury at the time of the accident, claiming she continued working and had prior injuries in both knees. The defense medical experts also argued that the plaintiff’s knee injuries and surgical interventions were as a result of pre-existing age-related degeneration. In addition, the defendant doctor testified that he gave the plaintiff an injection in one of her knees just weeks prior to the accident while she was working in his residence.

We countered these contentions by stating that the plaintiff had no significant prior treatment to the knees other than what the defendant testified to and that there was no medical record of such treatment. We successfully demonstrate that even though the plaintiff was more prone to injures due to the prior degenerative condition, the defendant was still responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries sustained in the accident and that the plaintiff’s prior condition was only aggravated by the fall.

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