Kenneth Halperin and Noah Katz, attorneys with Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, obtained a pre-trial settlement in the amount of $4.5 million for their client, a non-union laborer who fell through an opening on the first floor into a cellar below a Manhattan high-rise building under construction. As a consequence, he sustained several injuries that resulted in a total of six surgeries to his foot, neck, shoulder, and knee.
Prior to settlement, Noah obtained a summary judgment on liability, in spite of the defendants' claim that the cellar opening was protected by a barrier/railing system, and that it was impossible for the plaintiff to have fallen through the barrier. Through discovery, Ken and Noah were able to establish that the defendants' claims did not match the evidence. Ken and Noah were able to prove that a protective barrier was installed in the moments after the accident, and that none existed before the moment of our client’s fall. The court agreed with Ken and Noah’s position, and granted judgment in their favor on liability.
With respect to the plaintiff’s injuries, the defendants took the position that the injuries were not caused by trauma, were unrelated to the accident, and were degenerative in nature given the plaintiff’s age. Ken and Noah showed, through medical evidence, that the injuries were caused by their client's fall, and that he had no history of pain or medical care to those body parts prior to the accident. This proof, established during the pre-trial discovery proceedings, lead to an efficient resolution of this matter within three years of the accident and prior to trial.