The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. has been rated one of the “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News and its attorneys have received a number of other legal honors. Learn more about our awarded New York City injury law firm.
Unfortunately, construction accidents are a common occurrence in New York. However, you can take legal action if you were injured on the job. Here’s what you need to know:
Millions of some of the most hardworking men and women in America make a living from working in one of its largest and most important industries, the construction and building trades. From residential projects to commercial high rises to government infrastructure projects including roads, bridges, highways, tunnels, and airports, men and women of different trades including electricians, carpenters, ironworkers, laborers, masons, painters, sheet metal workers, and plumbers support themselves and their families from these jobs that are so essential to the growth and success of New York and the United States.
However, construction is one of the most dangerous industries in which to work. For that reason, New York has special laws that allow many construction workers to secure compensation in the event they suffer an injury on the job by bringing a lawsuit to recover for their pain and suffering, medical expenses, and loss of wages and benefits. In addition, if you were injured in a construction accident on the job, you can make a claim for workers’ compensation benefits to cover your medical expenses and part of your lost wages while you are out of work. In many cases, people injured in construction accidents can have two potential cases or claims for one accident, a workers compensation claim’ and a lawsuit. At The Perecman Firm, we handle all legal aspects of the claims and cases for a person injured in a construction accident, including workers’ compensation claims, personal injury lawsuits, social security disability, and appeals. Our tough, reputable New York City construction accident attorneys are ready to assist you and your family following a construction accident, from the filing and handling of your workers’ compensation claim to taking your lawsuit to trial.
Our team of construction accident lawyers is led by founding attorney, David Perecman, who is one of the most highly experienced and skilled construction accident trial lawyers in New York. For years, he has led lectures for other lawyers at the New York State Trial Lawyers Association (NYSTLA) to spread his knowledge of New York’s Labor Law, a position he earned through years of experience and record-setting success. Our team also consists of a former trade union Business Agent and union member, construction site safety experts and engineers, as well as former police officers working as investigators.
It is because of our proven skills in handling construction accident cases in New York that we achieve multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for many of our clients. In the last seven years alone, we have recovered more than 50 verdicts and settlements in excess of a million dollars each on construction accident cases for our clients.
If you or a loved one were involved in a construction accident, you may be able to bring a lawsuit for your injuries against the owner, general contractor, and other contractors or companies under Sections 200, 240, and 241(6) of the Labor Law of the State of New York. This is very important information for workers injured in construction site accidents because, in many cases, the workers’ compensation benefits do not adequately compensate for the injuries and other damages, like loss of earnings and benefits. It’s important to note that you cannot sue your employer for a work accident because the law limits you to a workers’ compensation claim for your employer if they have workers’ compensation insurance.
Labor Law 240(1) requires contractors and their agents to provide proper protection to workers engaged in erection, demolition, repairing, altering, painting, cleaning or pointing of buildings or structures who are using ropes, irons, braces, pulleys, blocks, hangers, slings, ladders, stays, hoists, scaffolds and other devices. These are typically “gravity related” accidents involving workers falling from heights or objects falling on workers, but there can be other types of construction accidents which were caused by the force of gravity. Labor Law 241(6) allows workers to sue general contractors, owners, and other contractors for violations of specific regulations of the New York State Industrial Code. Labor Law 200 allows workers to sue companies for their failure to provide reasonable and adequate protection to workers on the site.
While not all construction accidents will allow injured workers to bring a lawsuit, it is very important that you consult immediately with an attorney with proven experience and results with construction accident cases to find out whether you can take additional legal action.
Some Of Our Verdicts And Settlements For Injured Construction Workers Include:
The types of losses that you can recover for in a lawsuit are called “damages.” When you bring a lawsuit for a construction accident, there are certain types of damages that you are entitled to try to recover, which include:
This issue of who is responsible under the law is called “liability” and it is the first issue that needs to be figured out by an attorney handling a construction accident case. Luckily, New York’s very special laws protecting construction workers, Sections 240, 241(6), and 200 of the Labor Law, provide for ways to hold owners, contractors, and their agents on construction sites responsible under the law for workers injured in accidents on the sites. This is a very important question because owners, general contractors, construction managers, subcontractors, and other companies on construction sites have different types and amounts of insurance coverage which can affect your ability to get full compensation for your injuries and losses. Exactly who should be sued in any given construction accident case is a sometimes a difficult question and is best left to an experienced and knowledgeable construction site accident lawyer.
It is important to understand your rights following a construction accident. Whether you are an injured worker or a mourning family member who has lost a loved one, our legal team is here to help. In New York, if you are injured while performing daily work tasks, you are eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim.
The benefits provided through workers’ compensation can include:
These benefits can also include cash benefits, supplement benefits, durable medical goods benefits, pharmacy benefits, and many others. In cases where negligence is involved - whether on your part or your employer’s - you are still entitled to workers’ comp benefits. However, this may be the only legal avenue that allows you to pursue compensation from your employer in most cases.
The NYC construction accident lawyers at The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. have the knowledge, skill, and expertise to help you resolve your case. Allow our firm to review your case and work with you to recover maximum compensation for your injuries.
Haynes v. Boricua Village Housing Development Fund Company, Inc., et al., 2009 WL 1178782 (1st Dept. 2019) - Won summary judgment for a carpenter who suffered an electric shock when attempting to install pins in a drop ceiling using a Hilti gun. The Court found that, even though the owner of the company Haynes worked for testified that he came to the scene after the accident and there was no exposed wiring or anything unusual, Haynes still wins. The Court made this decision that Plaintiff still wins summary judgment based on violations of Industrial Code 12 NYCRR §§ 23-1.13(b)(3) and (4) because the owner of the company didn’t arrive at the site until 20 to 30 minutes after the accident and Haynes’ testimony and an affidavit from Haynes’ supervisor indicated that exposed uncapped electrical wiring was seen hanging from the ceiling in the area Haynes was working, and Haynes’ coworker stated that after the accident he observed electricians arriving at the accident site and capping exposed wiring.
Hoyos v. NY-1095 Avenue of the Americas, LLC, et al., 156 A.D.3d 491 (1st Dept. 2017) - Reversed the ruling of the trial court below and won summary judgment for a union-affiliated painter who slipped or fell off an elevated loading dock when attempting to enter the building to perform his work at a construction/renovation project only taking place on certain floors higher up in the building. In a split decision, the Court ruled in favor of Hoyos, taking into account “the reality of what construction workers employed on projects in high rise buildings face.” The Court found that Hoyos was working at the time, even though he was still trying to enter the building, and that the loading dock was considered part of the construction/renovation site because Hoyos was required to “line up with other construction personnel and use the crowded, elevated loading dock to gain access to the building at the start of each work day” and Hoyos was “not provided with a safer or different means of gaining access to any other part of the building.” Furthermore, the Court found that the loading dock was high enough off the ground to trigger the safety protections of the law and that it “was several feet off the floor [and] it had no railing, chain, demarcation or other protective safety device to prevent someone on the crowded platform from falling off its edge . . .”
Gonzalez v. Paramount Group, Inc. et al., 157 A.D.3d 427 (1st Dept. 2018) (internal citations omitted) – Won summary judgment for a union laborer who had a cinderblock fall on his knee while he was making an opening in a concrete wall for HVAC ductwork to be installed. The Court found that “the cinderblocks above the opening that fell were “falling objects” under Labor Law § 240(1) required to be secured for the purposes of the undertaking.” The Court said that O’Brien v. Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, 29 N.Y.3d 27 (2017), another case from The Perecman Firm, was inapplicable here because the defendants did not provide any safety device to secure the cinderblocks, as opposed to in O’Brien, where there was a question of whether the safety device provided was adequate. This case resulted in a settlement of $1,200,000.
Cardona v. New York City Housing Authority et al., 153 A.D.3d 1179 (1st Dept. 2017) – Won summary judgment for a laborer who fell to the ground and suffered knee injuries when climbing the cross braces of a sidewalk bridge, as he was instructed to do. The court ruled in favor of Mr. Cardona because he was not provided with a ladder or other safety device to access the sidewalk bridge in violation of Labor Law 240(1). Defendants did not present sufficient evidence that Cardona was instructed not to go up on the sidewalk bridge. The Employer’s Injury and Illness Report was not accepted as evidence for the Defendants as their own witness denied preparing it and there was no proof that it was “prepared by anyone with personal knowledge of the relevant events.” Defendants tried to argue that Cardona fell because of his “carelessness,” “bad decisions,” and his size, but these arguments were not accepted as comparative negligence is not a defense to a Labor Law 240(1) claim. This case was later settled for $4,200,000.
Pacheco v. Halsted Communications, Ltd. et al., 114 A.D.3d 768 (2nd Dept. 2016) – Won summary judgment for a worker who fell and suffered brain injuries when climbing down a 28-foot ladder after installing satellite cable equipment on the roof of a home. The Court ruled in favor of Pacheco because the ladder was unsecured and he was not provided with a safety device to prevent him from falling. The defendants tried to argue that Pacheco should lose because he used a 28-foot ladder instead of a 40-foot ladder, but they failed because they did not show that there were 40-foot ladders available for him to use. The case was settled for a confidential sum.
Jerdonek v. 41 West 72 LLC, et al., 143 A.D.3d 43 (1st Dept. 2016) – Won summary judgment for a union worker who fell from a scaffold that was not properly secured and lacked guard rails. Even though witness from the general contractor testified to a different version of the accident, Jerdonek still won because Labor Law 240(1) “was violated under either version of the accident.” This was especially because the general contractor testified that that first level of the scaffolding did not have middle or top guard rails. The Court held that Jerdonek was entitled to summary judgment on his Labor Law 240(1) claim against the owner of the building, the board of managers of the condominium building. This case was settled after trial for $1,140,890.800.
Golubowski v. City of New York, 131 A.D.3d 900 (1st Dept. 2015) – Won liability under Labor Law §240(1) for our client, a plumber, who was injured when he fell from a ladder that had become wet and slippery from water leaking from an overhead sprinkler system that was being dismantled. This case was settled for $600,000.
Czajkowski v. City of New York, 126 A.D.3d 543 (1st Dept. 2015) – Won liability under Scaffold Law for our client, who was using a sawzall to remove 10-foot high, 8 to 10-foot wide window frames, when the top half of the window fell out of the wall and crushed his hand. The Court said that Mr. Czakowski was entitled to summary judgment on his Labor Law 240(1) claim because he “was not provided any safety device to brace or otherwise support the window while it was being removed in the manner he was instructed.” This case was settled for $700,000.
Jerez v. Tishman Const. Corp of New York, 118 A.D.3d 617 (1st Dept. 2014). Our client, a union carpenter working on a form wall at the World Trade Center construction site, was awarded liability under the Scaffold Law when a brace that he had secured his lanyard to gave way, causing him to fall 14 feet to the floor below. The Port Authority's witness also admitted that our client had not been given double lanyards, as had been required. This case was settled for $4,750,000.
Alameda-Cabrera v. Noble Electrical Contracting Co., Inc., 117 A.D.3d 484 (1st Dept. 2014) – We won liability for our client under Labor Law 241(6) who was severely injured when using a miter saw that did not have a protective guard and a vise clamp in violation of Industrial Code 12 NYCRR 23-1.12(c)(2) and 23-9.2(a). This case was settled for $1,000,000.
Grant v. City of New York, 109 A.D.3d 961 (2d Dept. 2013) – Court awarded liability under Scaffold Law to our client, who fell approximately 15 feet from an unsecured straight ladder that shifted to the side while he doing electrical work in a New York City school auditorium. The Court said that Mr. Grant still wins even though the City of New York argued that he should have had a coworker hold the bottom of the ladder or use a nylon rope to secure the bottom of the ladder to a stationary object This case was settled for $1,850,000.
Stallone v. Plaza Construction Corp., 95 A.D.3d 633 (1st Dept. 2012) – Court awarded liability under Scaffold Law to our client, a union crane operator,  who fell 13 feet from a vertical fixed ladder while climbing down from the cab of the crane, because the ladder "proved inadequate to shield [him] from harm directly flowing  from the application of the force of gravity to an object or person." The Court ruled in favor of our client because that ladder was the only means by which he could reach his elevated work site and his injuries were “at least partially attributable to defendants’ failure to take mandated safety measures to protect him from elevation-relation risks.” This case was settled for $6,000,000.
Nechifor v. RH Atlantic-Pacific LLC, 92 A.D.3d 514 (1st Dept. 2012) – Court ruled in favor of our client, a union carpenter, under the Scaffold Law, who fell 12 feet as he attempted to climb down from the top of a scaffold by climbing down the frame because the ladder that was supposed to be attached to the scaffold was not provided. This case was settled for $9,900,000 and was the top New York Construction Accident Settlement in 2014 in as per the VerdictSearch Top Settlements list.
Kempisty v. 246 Spring Street, LLC, 92 A.D.3d 474 (1st Dept. 2012). This is a very significant case where the court applied the Scaffold Law to rule in favor of our client, who had his foot crushed by an 8,000 pound block that was moving slightly from side to side while it was  being hoisted for a load test. Although the client did not fall from a ladder or scaffold, the more typical case under the Scaffold Law, the court held that “the elevation differential [between the block and our client’s foot] cannot be considered de minimis when the weight of the object being hoisted is capable of generating an extreme amount of force, even though it only traveled a short distance.” This case went to trial and was settled after trial for $7,250,000.
Olszewski v. Park Terrace Gardens, Inc., 306 A.D.2d 128 (1st Dept. 2003). First Department affirmed the trial court’s award of summary judgment in favor of our client under Labor Law 240(1), known as New York’s “Scaffold Law,” in a case where our client, who was working on a suspension scaffold removing paint from the outside of a building, fell seven stories when the ropes holding one side of the suspension scaffold broke. The court rejected the defense argument that the client was solely to blame for not securing his harness, because the scaffold failed and there was “no evidence that plaintiff was given an immediate instruction to use the harness.” We think this case is particularly applicable here, because there was a failure to provide a full height railing/parapet, which courts have repeatedly held is a violation of the Labor Law, just as does the failure to provide a scaffold with full railings.
Chrabaszcz v. Western Loft Equities, et al., Supreme Court, New York County (December 20, 2010). Trial court awarded liability to our client under Labor Law §240(1), in a case where the client, while working on a scaffold installing drywall with a nail gun, was caused to fall off the scaffold when it unexpectedly moved, because the scaffold lacked side rails.
Salem v. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, et al., Supreme Court, Bronx County (April 11, 2016). The trial court awarded liability under Labor Law §240(1) to our client who, while working on a scaffold, was caused to fall when part of the scaffold collapsed.
Ksepka v. The City of New York, et al., Supreme Court, New York County (April 20, 2015) The trial court awarded liability to our client under Labor Law §240(1), who fell while climbing down a vertical ladder affixed to an outside wall of a school without having been given a safety harness, and where the steps of the ladder were an insufficient distance from the wall thus allowing our client to only place the very front of his feet on the ladder steps.
Nukic v. St. John’s Cemetery Corporation, Supreme Court, Queens County (December 23, 2015). The trial court trial court awarded liability to our client under Labor Law §240(1), in a case where our client fell from an unbraced and unsecured ladder while using a crowbar to remove forms from a ceiling at a construction site.
Malfitano v. Extell West 57th Street, LLC, Supreme Court, New York County (September 25, 2015). The trial court trial court awarded liability to our client under Labor Law §240(1), in a case where the client fell from an unsecured extension ladder that ran at an angle between a floor below and a concrete deck being built above.
Rodriguez v. Concourse Flatiron Associates, LP, Supreme Court, Bronx County (February 23, 2015). The trial court trial court awarded liability to our client under Labor Law §240(1), as a result of our client having been injured when, while working on a ladder removing sheet rock from the ceiling of a building, an entire sheet of sheetrock that was wet from a leak was caused to fall upon him and the ladder, causing him to fall from the ladder.
Paszko v. Roman Catholic Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, Supreme Court, New York County (October 20, 2014). Trial court awarded liability under Scaffold Law to our client, who while painting crown molding at a school fell from a closed A-frame ladder that slid out from the bottom.
Darcy v. SL Green Realty Corp., et al., Supreme Court, New York County (September 16, 2014). Trial court awarded liability under Scaffold Law to our client, who fell from an unsecured open A-frame ladder that moved while our client was working from it.
Aulet v. 405 W. 53rd Development, Supreme Court, Bronx County (March 26, 2014). Trial court awarded liability under Scaffold Law to our client, who was caused to fall from an unsecured ladder he was working on when a heavy steel form he was removing from a column came loose and struck him and the ladder.
Grant v. City of New York, 109 A.D.3d 961 (2d Dept. 2013). Court awarded liability under Scaffold Law to our client, who fell approximately 15 feet from an unsecured straight ladder while doing electrical work in a New York City school auditorium.
Knapik v. Column 75, et al., Supreme Court, New York County (December 19, 2013). Trial court awarded liability under Scaffold Law to our client, who fell from an open A-frame ladder that shook and moved while our client was working from it in a bathroom.
Ostrowski v. Sutton Hill Capital, et al., Supreme Court, New York County (October 17, 2013). Trial court awarded liability under Scaffold Law to our client who, while working on the roof of defendant’s building, was caused to fall through a skylight opening that had not been properly covered.
Lugo v. Sunbyrd Realty Corp, Supreme Court, Bronx County (August 29, 2013). Trial court awarded liability under Scaffold Law to our client, who fell from a fixed vertical ladder while trying to open a door that provided access to the building’s elevator repair room.
Davis v. CPS 1 Realty GP LLC, et al., Supreme Court, New York County (July 29, 2013). Trial court awarded summary judgment to our client under Labor Law §240(1), in a case where our client was injured when, while walking down a wooden ramp that ran from a lift platform to the floor below, one of the ramp’s planks collapsed because it was not properly secured to the ramp.
Dobrzyn v. City of New York, et al., Supreme Court, New York County (May 16, 2013). Trial court granted summary judgment under Scaffold Law to our client who, while laying bricks on an exterior wall of a building, was injured when the scaffold he was working on came free from the wall that it was attached to because it had been improperly secured to it.
Felix v. Independence Savings Bank, 89 A.D.3d 895 (2d Dept. 2011). Court ruled in favor of our client under the Scaffold Law, where the client, a pipefitter, fell from a scaffold when one of the scaffold wheels  slipped into a hole in the floor at the construction site.
Wraclawek v. JNK-Grand, LLC, Supreme Court, New York County (October 5, 2011). Trial court awarded liability to our client under Labor Law §240(1), in a case where the client was injured when, while working at ceiling height on a straight aluminum ladder, the ladder slid out at the bottom causing the client to fall to the ground.
Gaynor v. One Bryant Park, LLC, Supreme Court, New York County (May 25, 2011). Trial court awarded liability to our client under Labor Law §240(1), where the client, while working on an A-frame ladder installing pipes into a hanger suspended from the ceiling, was injured when the ladder broke and collapsed.
Romanczuk v. Metropolitan Ins. and Annuity Co., 72 A.D.3d 592 (1st Dept. 2010). Court ruled in favor of our client under the Scaffold Law, where the scaffold he was using to access the bulkhead located on the building’s roof had insufficient planks on it for him to stand on; and no other safety devices were provided to prevent or protect him from falling.
Kochanowicz v. 410-57 Corporation, et al., Supreme Court, New York County (May 11, 2010). Trial court awarded liability to our client under Labor Law §240(1), where the client fell 10 to 12 feet from a sidewalk bridge he was working on when one of the plywood side panels of the sidewalk bridge broke free.
Kaminski v. Carlyle One, 51 A.D.3d 473 (1st Dept. 2008). Another important case where the court ruled in favor of our client, who was injured while attempting to realign a side panel of a sidewalk bridge he and his coworkers were constructing. The court stated that “the failure to provide [our client] with any safety device to protect him against the risk of a fall created by his need to lean over the side of  the bridge to nail in the side panels leads to liability” under the Scaffold Law, and further specifically ruled that a co-worker is not a safety device under the Scaffold Law.
Lesisz v. Salvation Army, 40 A.D.3d 1050 (2d Dept. 2007). Court awarded liability under Scaffold Law to our client, who fell from an unsecured ladder that slid out from under him.
Ranieri v. Holt Construction Corp., 33 A.D.3d 425 (1st Dept. 2006). Our client was a sheet metal worker who was injured when he fell from an unsecured ladder. The court ruled our client was entitled to a liability finding in his favor because “the failure to supply [him] with a properly secured ladder or any safety devices was a proximate cause of his fall.”
Curte v. City of New York, 21 A.D.3d 1050 (2d Dept. 2005). The plaintiff was "chipping concrete" as part of a repair of a train trestle located at the Huguenot station in Staten Island. A gust of wind caused by the passing of a nearby train caused a tarp to  exert pressure against the plaintiff's ladder, the ladder moved away from the wall on which it had been propped, and this movement prompted the plaintiff to release his grasp and fall.
The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C.'s team of NYC personal injury attorneys have recovered more than $400 million in verdicts and settlements for their clients. We understand the financial and emotional toll a serious accident can have on your life. That’s why we dedicate ourselves to maximizing your recovery and securing what you deserve.
Construction Accident. Union sheet metal worker who fell from ladder.
Union driver injured in a fall off ladder attached to a truck container.
Construction Accident. Union worker fell from suspension scaffold sustaining injury to back.
1 in 5 workplace fatalities occur in construction (the highest rate of all industries). There are roughly 150,000 construction site accident injuries each year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
There are 4 types of injuries that are responsible for more than
half of all construction accident injuries:
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- Jose J.
- Joseph L.
- Naida M.