Construction Accident - Scaffold Accident

WRSH Partner Mitchell Kahn obtained a $2,825,000 settlement for a 50-year-old union bricklayer who was injured while working at a construction site. At the time of the accident, the plaintiff loaded a twenty-four-foot-long three-foot-wide aluminum scaffold platform weighing approximately 150 lbs. onto a motorized scaffold. Plaintiff and a co-worker were instructed to bring the scaffolding equipment to the twelfth floor and hand it over to the workers stationed on the balcony.

As the motorized scaffold approached the twelfth floor, it was tightly hugging the building facade, thus preventing it from going further, forcing it to stop below the twelfth floor - with the twelfth floor being approximately three feet above plaintiff’s head. A rope was thrown to plaintiff from the twelfth-floor balcony by his foreman who directed him to tie it to an "ear" on the aluminum platform, so that the workers on the balcony could hoist the platform up to the balcony by rope. Plaintiff tied off his end of the platform and a worker on the twelfth-floor balcony started lifting the platform. As the platform was being hoisted from the scaffold to the twelfth-floor balcony by the ropes, a worker suddenly let go of the rope causing the platform to fall down and strike plaintiff on his hard hat and then his right arm.

As a result of the accident the plaintiff sustained injuries to both shoulders, both elbows, and his cervical spine. The plaintiff required arthroscopic surgeries to both shoulders, both elbows and a cervical fusion at C5-6 and C6-7. There was no significant lost earnings claim.

During depositions, we established that the defendants had violated Labor Law Section 240, in failing to provide the plaintiff with a proper safety device to perform his work. The hoisting mechanism was improper and failed for its intended use. At the time of the settlement motions were pending seeking Summary Judgment on plaintiff’s claim that the defendants violated Labor Law 240. The case was resolved at mediation for $2,825,000.

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