Trip and Fall
WRSH Partner, Kenneth J. Halperin recently obtained a $1.3 million dollar settlement for a security guard who tripped and fell over an elevator weight while performing his rounds at a large commercial building in downtown Manhattan. The accident occurred when our client was in the process of walking to his post. As he attempted to open a door he suddenly tripped and fell over a small elevator weight, which is a five pound, 18 inch high object that is used by elevator mechanics to simulate weight in an elevator.
We conducted six depositions in this case of various workers that were employed both by the building and our client's employer. We went as far as South Carolina to depose a worker that had retired and moved there. Through these efforts we discovered that the weight was being used on days when it was windy as a door stop to prop open the doors during deliveries. Apparently this was done in close proximity to our client's accident and nobody put the weight back in its proper storage location. Because of the weight's close proximity to the floor and dark color that blended in with the floor, it was very difficult to see.
The defendant, building owner, argued that they had no knowledge that this was being done because only the workers from plaintiff's security company controlled the area where the accident occurred. We were able to rebut this argument by establishing that the building owner still had control over the area and the ability to supervise the workers.
As a result of the accident, the plaintiff sustained a herniated disc in his lumbar spine which required a lumbar fusion operation and one revision procedure. Plaintiff also sustained an injury to his knee which required arthroscopic surgery.