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Result: $3.3 Million Settlement for Construction Worker Struck by Ceiling Form

The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. secures a $3.325 million settlement for a construction worker who suffered back injuries when he was struck by a wood ceiling form.

Attorney Steven B. Dorfman and The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. recovered a six-figure settlement for a client who suffered musculoskeletal injuries after he was struck by a wood ceiling form.

The plaintiff was a 45-year-old construction laborer who had been working at a construction site in Manhattan. While lowering a jack used to support wood forms that framed a newly poured concrete ceiling, the supported form fell and struck the plaintiff.

Injuries & Treatment

The plaintiff claimed that he suffered back injuries that included herniation of the L5-S1 disc resulting in spinal nerve impingement and radiculopathy extending to his left leg, and displacement of the L5 vertebra resulting in anterolisthesis and spondylolysis. He underwent approximately five months of chiropractic care and two epidural injections before undergoing surgery that included a discectomy, laminectomy, spinal fusion, implantation of stabilizing screws, and a stabilizing bone graft.

Claiming that surgery provided minimal pain relief, the plaintiff resumed conservative treatment and later underwent implantation of a neurostimulator before having it removed. He continued to treat conservatively until 2019 (7 years post-accident).

Claims

The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. filed suit against the premises owner, tenant, and general contractors alleging that the defendants negligently failed to provide a safe workplace in violation of the NY Labor Law.

It was further alleged that the plaintiff’s injury resulted from an elevation hazard as defined by Labor Law § 240(1), and that the plaintiff was not provided appropriate, safe equipment as required by the statute. Plaintiff’s counsel claimed that the 65-pound form had not been secured and that the incident could have been prevented had the plaintiff been provided a hoist, sling, or similar equipment.

The defense argued that the incident resulted from the plaintiff’s failure to exercise due caution.

Result

The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. moved for summary judgment of liability, which was granted.

With the matter proceeding to damages, it was claimed that the plaintiff’s injuries and pain prevented him from being able to perform the duties of his job, prevented him from performing any type of work, and would necessitate additional surgery in the future. The plaintiff had stopped working roughly seven months after his accident and had not resumed work. He sought damages for future medical expenses, past and future lost earnings, and past and future pain and suffering.

The defense argued that the plaintiff’s injuries were degenerative conditions unrelated to the accident and submitted reports from expert witnesses who opined that the plaintiff’s ongoing symptoms resulted in part from his failure to pursue timely treatment and that the plaintiff would be able to resume pre-accident work or some other type of work that would provide equivalent earnings.

Ultimately, Attorney Dorfman was able to negotiate a pretrial settlement in which the defendants’ insurer agreed to pay $3,325,000.

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