Laborer Fell From Hanging Scaffold Support Apparatus

Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP partners Kenneth Halperin and Frank J. Lombardo settled this matter during discovery in the amount of $950,000.00. The plaintiff, a 44-year-old union asbestos laborer, was made to fall from a hanging scaffold’s pipe-frame apparatus while dismantling a brick parapet wall with a jackhammer.

The plaintiff sustained tears of the medial and lateral meniscus of the left knee, for which he underwent a partial medial and lateral meniscectomy; and he suffered posterior tears of the medial meniscus and anterior cruciate ligament of the right knee, whereby he underwent a partial medial meniscectomy.

The defense counsel contended that the plaintiff’s accident did not occur as alleged: that he was the sole proximate cause of his injuries and that he merely dropped the jackhammer, that his injuries were preexisting degenerative conditions and he continued to work for four weeks following the accident without complaints. We countered this contention by showing that the plaintiff had no prior complaints of injury of pain, and that if he did have such preexisting conditions, then he was more susceptible to injury, and in any event, the defendants are liable all the same.

Ken and Frank were able to show, with statements of co-workers, that the plaintiff had no alternative but to stand on the piping apparatus to dismantle that area of the parapet wall, and he was standing on it pursuant to the directions of his supervisor. Ken and Frank were also able to show the defense was relying on statements made by persons without personal knowledge of the incident, making their statements hearsay.

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