A short time before the start of the damages trial, attorneys Bryce Moses and Carmine Goncalves of Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP were able to secure a $5,950,000 settlement in the case of a 37-year-old union bridge painter. His fall from a steel beam bridge support led to a cascade of surgeries—right shoulder, left shoulder, cervical spine, and lumbar spine, each a testament to the severity of the incident.

The battle for accountability was an uphill climb, with the State initially disputing the lack of overhead safety cables. The court's denial of the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment meant that the case had to go to trial. However, persistence paid off, and the liability trial in 2022 revealed a shift in the State's stance. No longer asserting the existence of overhead cables, they pivoted to placing blame on the plaintiff for walking where he fell.

Against this backdrop, the plaintiff's legal team skillfully dismantled the argument, convincing the trial judge that the lack of proper safety measures was the true culprit. The verdict echoed this, with the Court of Claims ruling 100% in favor of the plaintiff on liability. The journey was arduous, but the settlement obtained before the damages trial reflects a measure of justice and recognition for the pain and struggles endured.

The plaintiff had a comprehensive strategy lined up, intending to bring in not just his surgeons to discuss the various orthopedic injuries but also his psychologist to delve into the ongoing challenges of coping with his injured body. Additionally, an economist was poised to illuminate the financial repercussions of being unable to earn his six-figure union wage with its many fringe benefits. Furthermore, a vocational rehabilitation expert was ready to shed light on the limited options the plaintiff had for gainful employment, only recently being able to earn a meager salary as a driver for hire.

The matter was settled after a third private mediation after the first two proved unsuccessful.

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