Kenneth Halperin and Noah Katz, attorneys with Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, obtained a favorable settlement in the amount of $2,000,000.00 on behalf of a painter who fell from a ladder placed on top of a scaffold when the scaffold platform collapsed.

The defendants argued that the plaintiff was solely to blame for the accident because he assembled the scaffold, and failed to secure the platform into the scaffold frame. The defendants also contended that the plaintiff was not required to, but decided on his own, to place an A-frame ladder on top of the scaffold to perform his work. The defendants’ witnesses testified that the plaintiff’s work area did not require a ladder on top of the scaffold, alleging he could have reached the area while standing on the scaffold platform itself.

During discovery and their on-site visit to where the accident occurred, Ken and Noah were able to show the area the plaintiff was painting was at a height which exceeded 15 feet, and that his foreman instructed him to place the ladder on top of the scaffold in order to reach this height. Ken and Noah also showed that the plaintiff was not the only worker who participated in the assembly of the scaffold and platform. Therefore, the plaintiff could not be considered the sole proximate cause of his accident.

As a result of the accident, the plaintiff sustained injuries to his back and shoulder, which required surgery. Ken and Noah also showed, through medical evidence and expert proof, that the plaintiff was unable to return to work as a painter as a result of his injuries. The defendants contended that the plaintiff’s injuries were not caused by his fall but related to the normal processes of his body aging and a prior accident he had approximately ten years earlier. We countered this by demonstrating that the plaintiff did not have any complaints of pain or treatment to his back or shoulder for several years prior to the accident, and that the plaintiff’s track record of working in the construction field showed that he had medical conditions for which he was treating or which rendered him unable to perform his work or other lifestyle activities.

The case settled after mediation and approximately one year before trial for $2,000,000.00.

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