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Result: $2,000,000 Settlement for Construction Worker Struck by Bobcat

The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. obtains $2 Million settlement for construction laborer who suffered serious injuries after being struck by a Bobcat while working on a Manhattan demolition site.

Adam M. Hurwitz and The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. legal team represented a 44-year-old non-union torch operator who suffered serious injuries while working on a demolition site in Manhattan.

As alleged in the lawsuit, filed in the Supreme Court of New York County, Adam’s client had been performing work at the demo site in 2016 when a Bobcat excavator being driven by a coworker struck his left foot. At the time of the incident, our client was placing demolition debris into the front-end “claw” of the Bobcat. His resulting injuries necessitated significant treatment and resulted in his inability to work.

Injuries & Treatment

After being struck by the Bobcat, our client’s initial injuries were limited to musculoskeletal bruising on the top of his left foot (dorsum). He did not seek immediate medical treatment, but after experiencing pain, tenderness, and swelling of the foot, presented himself to St. Mary’s General Hospital 5 days following the incident.

Treating medical personnel determined the worker had developed an infected abscess (cellulitis) in his foot. He was promptly admitted as an inpatient for 6 days, during which he was administered a regimen of antibiotics and irrigation and debridement for the abscess.

In May, over a month following the accident, the victim was evaluated by an orthopedic specialist over complaints of left knee pain. An MRI was performed, and a tear of the medial meniscus was discovered in the knee.

The victim was underwent arthroscopic surgery, including a partial meniscectomy and synovectomy to repair the meniscus tear, but recurring pain and a second MRI revealed likely post-operative changes rather than re-tearing of the meniscus. Nearly a year later, in March 2017, the recurring pain was successfully relieved via Medial Radiofrequency Ablation. An additional MRI of the lumbar spine revealed a herniated disc and bulging discs, which were treated with pain medication and a sympathetic nerve block in the lower back.

Claims & Result

The case presented a number of challenges, particularly as they related to the victim’s short delay in treatment (which is not uncommon for those who believe they can “tough it out”), and the varied injuries he sustained.

An additional hurdle came from the defendant’s vocational rehabilitation expert, who opined that while the victim claimed his injured prevented him from working, he was still employable as a construction worker. In the filed suit, the plaintiff brought several claims against the property owner and construction company, alleging:

  • The defendants were negligent in operating and controlling the demolition site and the Bobcat;
  • Violated New York Labor Law Sections 200 and 241(6); and
  • Violated Sections 23-3.4(c)(2),(3),(4), (5) and (6); 23-9.2(a),(b); 23-9.5(c) and (g); and, 23-9.9(4) of the New York State Industrial Code (12 NYCRR 23, et seq.).

Ultimately, Attorney Adam Hurwitz was able to overcome the defense’s arguments and successfully tender a negotiated settlement for $2,000,000.

The case speaks volumes about the extensive medical costs and other physical, financial, and emotional losses victims can suffer following construction accidents and preventable injuries – as well as the importance of working with talented trial attorneys with considerable experience handling claims involving orthopedic injuries, arguments from the defense and expert witnesses, and the New York labor law.

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