Trip and Fall Over a Piece of Masonite

WRSMH attorney, Kenneth Halperin, obtained a settlement in the amount of $1,250,000.00 for a 39 year old man who was injured in an accident on a construction site.

The accident in question occurred while the plaintiff was in the process of repairing bricks on the parapet wall of the roof of a residential apartment building in Manhattan. After laying several bricks plaintiff stood up and stepped back to get a better visual of his work. As he stepped back he tripped and fell over a piece of Masonite that was curled up on a corner.

This settlement was due in large part to the talents of the firm, who worked on the case during the discovery phase. Through intense questioning at deposition, the firm was able to establish multiple measures which should have been taken to protect the workers on the job site. Plaintiff argued that when he started work the Masonite was not there and that someone discarded it improperly near where he was working. We argued that there was a violation of Labor Sect. 241(6) – 12 NYCRR 23-1.7.

The plaintiff's co-worker and foreman, however, stated that the masonite has been there when they started work and was protecting the roof of the building while they were working. Defendants argued that since the masonite was properly covering the roof and thus a necessary piece of equipment at the site plaintiff was not entitled to recover.

Thus, a jury trial would have come down to who the jury believed. Had the jury believed that the Masonite was properly in place and a necessary part of the work then plaintiff could have recovered nothing. Despite this, we were able to obtain a seven figure settlement for our client.

As a result of the accident, plaintiff sustained a herniated disc that required surgery, and elbow and knee injuries that also required arthroscopic surgery.

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