WRSMH attorney David M. Hoffman obtained a settlement in the amount of $5,000,000.00 for a 54-year-old construction worker who was injured in an accident when he was caused to fall several feet into a trench at a construction site. Plaintiff fell into the trench because it was left unguarded, and there were no safety devices present to protect workers from falling into it.
Defendants claimed that the trench was supposed to be unprotected that day because it was going to be filled with concrete and further that the plaintiff was not supposed to be near it.
David proved, through the testimony of Defendant’s own witness, that the trench was not going to be filled with concrete and was supposed to be covered with plywood. David also established that plaintiff’s employer directed him to be working in and around the trench on the day of the accident.
As a result of this incident, the plaintiff suffered serious injuries to his lower back, hip, knee, and required lumbar spinal surgery, hip surgery, and knee surgery.
David successfully moved for Summary Judgement pursuant to Labor Law § 240(1). Initially our motion for summary judgment was denied by the Court because it held that there was a dispute as to how deep the trench was. David moved to reargue the decision and managed to convince the Court that this dispute as to the depth of the trench (i.e. how far the plaintiff fell) was inconsequential to a Labor Law § 240(1) determination. The Court agreed, recognized its mistake, and granted plaintiff summary judgment.
David also supplemented the plaintiff’s pain and suffering damages with several experts, including an economist and life care plan expert to provide further evidence of the plaintiff’s pecuniary losses.
David was able to successfully resolve this matter at mediation.