Result: $3.7 Million for Carpenter With Electrical Shock Injuries
The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. Secures $3.7 Million Settlement For Carpenter Who Sustained an Electrical Shock While Using Hilti Gun on Improperly Wired HVA Duct
Attorneys David Perecman and Adam Hurwitz secured a $3.7 million settlement at trial on behalf of a 29-year-old construction worker who suffered electrical shock injuries while working on a construction site in the Bronx.
As noted in the lawsuit, the incident occurred while our client had been installing a drop ceiling in the building’s lobby. While performing his work, his Hilti gun came into contact with HVAC ductwork which had become electrified due to improperly secured / insulated wiring.
Injuries & Treatment
After the incident, our client took a taxi to Lincoln Hospital, where he underwent a series of tests for electrical injuries to his right shoulder, arm, and hand. He was subsequently admitted for overnight observation.
Our client later sought treatment from a neurologist, who conducted an EMG and diagnosed his injuries to include a right median nerve neuropathy. He later sought treatment from an orthopedist and pain management specialist who opined that he suffered from complex regional pain syndrome. However, a triple phase bone scan failed to confirm the CRPS.
Following conservative care and rehabilitation, our client received a series of stellate ganglion injection nerve blocks for his right arm and hand, but obtained only temporary and partial relief. Over a year after the incident, he underwent a median nerve decompression, neurolysis, and excision of a ganglion cyst in his right wrist. Several months later, he had a temporary spinal cord stimulator implanted, and, following a successful trial period, a permanent stimulator implanted.
As a result of his injuries, our client claimed to suffer from residual pain and limitations which impeded his ability to perform basic physical activities and manual labor. He did not return to work following his accident.
Claims & Defense
Attorneys David Perecman and Adam Hurwitz filed a lawsuit on behalf of the young carpenter against the building owner, the general contractor, and the electrical contractor responsible for installing the wiring in question. It was alleged that:
- The defendants negligently failed to provide a safe workplace;
- The building owner and general contractor violated the NY Labor Law and NY State Industrial Code for failing to post warnings and failing to ascertain whether the victim’s work could potentially bring him into contact with an electrical power circuit;
- The building owner and general contractor failed to provide the victim with adequate protection against the electrical shock;
- The electrical contractor negligently created the hazardous condition which caused the victim’s injuries by improperly installing and / or insulating the electrical source which energized the ductwork, and negligently failed to turn off the power in the area where he was performing work.
In response, defendants argued there were different versions of how the accident may have happened, and claimed the incident occurred when the worker placed the Hilti gun into an open electrical box, which they alleged would make him responsible for the accident. Additionally, the building owner and general contractor argued the electrical contractor was chiefly liable for failing to turn off the power in the area where work was being performed.
Prior to reaching an ultimate resolution in the case, Attorneys David Perecman and Peter Rigelhaupt were able to prevail in the First Department of the New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, which sided with our client in agreeing those in charge of the construction project were responsible for shutting off or grounding the power, or for insulating the work area per Industrial Code.
Ultimately, the building owner and general contractor were deemed liable under Labor Law §241(6) on summary judgment, and claims regarding the electrical contractor’s negligence, and the victim’s comparative fault, were set to be determined at trial. Attorney David Perecman
Following jury selection and argument on a number of motions, an out-of-court settlement was reached. In total, our client secured $3.7 Million in compensation for his damages, including:
- $1.7 Million from the building owner and general contractor;
- $2 Million from the electrical contractor.