Union Worker Injured on the Job

WRSH Partner, Frank J. Lombardo settled this matter for $950,000.00 after unsuccessful mediation, and prior to commencement of jury selection and commencement of trial. The case was handled through discovery by Partner, Kenneth Halperin. Plaintiff, 54 years of age at the time of the accident, was a Union Local 282 Teamsters Truck driver with 23 years on the job prior to the accident.

On September 9, 2011, the plaintiff sustained serious and permanent injuries at "Ground Zero" and "Freedom Tower" where demolition and construction of underground utilities, sidewalks, lights and extending the subway line took place. Mr. Gioielli was operating the boom of a flatbed boom truck, and after successfully placing I-beams on the flatbed, he began walking towards the front side of the truck in order to put the remote back when he heard a loud noise, felt a vibration under his feet and the I-beams fell striking him.

The defendants contended that there was no blasting and or heavy drilling which would cause the ground to shake or vibrate in any way. WRSH Partner Mitchell Kahn was able to establish during depositions that a subcontractor was performing "hoe ramming" in the area adjacent to where the accident occurred, and that "hoe ramming" caused vibrations.

In addition, the defendants argued that Labor Law §240(1) did not apply although case law holds that New York Labor Law § 240(1) applies in actions that involve materials that fall onto the workers from a flatbed truck.

With respect to the damages, the plaintiff was taken immediately from the scene by ambulance to Bellevue Hospital Center where he underwent surgical intervention for bilateral open tibia and fibular fractures with degloving. The surgery consisted of intramedullary nail fixation of the tibial fractures. The plaintiff returned to work as a truck driver six months after the accident.

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