Fall Off Ladder

WRSMH attorney Ken Halperin, obtained a $400,000 recovery for a construction worker who was on a ladder installing prefabricated shelving at the defendant's warehouse. The ladder began to wobble and he fell backwards, landing on the warehouse floor. Our client maintained that a rubber skid was missing from one of the legs of the ladder, and that he was not provided other fall protection. The defendant denied that the Labor Law was applicable because the shelving did not constitute a permanent alteration to the building. We attended a mediation where the defendants maintained that our case was going to be dismissed. They made an offer of $225,000 and refused to go any higher.

The resolution of this case was due in large part to a WRSMH attorney who was able to establish during depositions of the defendants that the shelving was a permanent alteration to the building, and thus the Labor Law applied. After the mediation we made a motion for summary judgment pursuant to Labor Law §240(1) and the defendants moved to dismiss the case. The court concurred with the plaintiff's arguments and granted the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment on liability and denied the defendants' motion. Shortly after the motion was decided the case settled for $400,000.

The plaintiff sustained two lumbar transverse process fractures, an ulnar neuropathy and four fractured ribs We also contended that the diagnostic studies reflected a fracture of the left scapula. The defendant denied that the plaintiff suffered a fracture to the scapula and pointed out that such a diagnosis was not made at the hospital. Plaintiff's fractures all healed and no surgery was required.

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