Scaffold Accident - Workplace Injury

WRSH partner Frank J. Lombardo handled this case through the discovery phase of the lawsuit and settled it at private mediation for $3.375 million, prior to it being calendared for a jury trial.

Our client, a 47-year-old non-union laborer, was sanding drywall on a baker-style scaffold when it collapsed, causing him to plummet 4-5 feet to the ground. Summary judgment on the issue of liability had been granted and the defendant’s appeal on the issue of sole proximate cause was argued and submitted, although no decision had yet been rendered by the Appellate Division at the time of the settlement.

The plaintiff sustained lumbar herniated discs and he underwent lumbar interlaminar epidural steroid injections, discectomy at the L4-L5 and L5-S1 levels with decompressive lumbar laminectomy, with medial facetectomies and decompression of the nerve roots of the L4-L5 roots, and interbody fusion with placement of posterior pedicle screw and rod implants with allograft bone grating. In addition, the plaintiff also underwent a second decompressive lumbar laminectomy at the same levels, in which surgeons removed the posterior pedicle screw and rod implants at L4, L5; in addition to revision laminectomy at L4-5; laminectomy and discectomy at L5-Sl; posterior and posterolateral spinal fusion with arthrodesis technique utilizing L4, L5, S1 segments; and posterior pedicle screw and rod implants at L4, L5, S1.

Other injuries included arthroscopic repair of a labral tear of the left shoulder, a compression fracture of the C4 vertebra, a tear of the anterior acetabular labrum of the right hip, and post-concussion syndrome with minor cognitive deficits.

Defense counsel contended that the fall from the scaffold was not a substantial factor that caused the plaintiff’s injuries in that the plaintiff had a preexisting degenerative spinal condition. At mediation, Frank successfully argued in our client’s favor.

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