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Result: Cable Installer Awarded $5 Million Verdict

The Perecman Firm represented an installer of cable television systems who was injured after falling off the top of an extension ladder.

On April 17, 2007, our client, 32, an installer of cable-television systems, serviced a residence that was located at 183 Elton St., in the Highland Park section of Brooklyn. During the course of his duties, our client fell off the top half of an extension ladder. He plummeted about 12 feet, and he sustained an injury of a leg.

Our client sued the company that contracted his work and a related entity. He alleged that the defendants violated the New York State Labor Law.

The defendants impleaded our client’s employer, alleging that they controlled and directed our client’s work functions. The third-party claim was discontinued, but the company’s insurer assumed the defense of all of the defendants.

Our client claimed that the extension ladder was not a sufficient tool, in that it was being used as a standalone ladder despite its lack of footings. He contended that the defendants should have provided a different ladder or braced and secured the extension ladder.

We contended that the incident stemmed from an elevation-related hazard, as defined by Labor Law 240(1), and that our client was not provided the proper, safe equipment that is a requirement of the statute. He also contended that the site was not properly safeguarded, as required by Labor Law 241(6).

Defense counsel contended that the accident was entirely a result of our client’s misuse of the ladder. He claimed that available equipment would have permitted proper securing of the ladder.

We moved for summary judgment of liability. Judge Marguerite Grays found that the defendants violated Labor Law 240(1), and, as such, she granted the motion. The matter proceeded to a trial that addressed damages.

Our client sustained an impacted comminuted fracture of the distal tibia of his left leg, which was treated with an external fixator during his initial hospitalization. He also sustained a fracture of the distal fibular shaft of the left leg, which was treated with open reduction and internal fixation with a plate and screws. He claimed that the fracture fragments from his injuries healed, but that deformities and defects remained. He also claimed that he suffered a shallow skin ulcer in the skin of his left ankle. He contended that he has difficulty walking, that he requires a cane and that he is in pain that requires medication. He also contended that he can no longer work in his prior occupation or any occupation that requires prolonged standing, walking, climbing or strenuous physical activity.

Our client sought recovery of his past and future medical expenses, his future life-care expenses, his past and future lost earnings, and damages for his past and future pain and suffering. After a nine-day trial, the jury awarded our client $5,003,802. The case was settled after verdict for $4,500.000.

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