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Result: $2.14 Million Settlement for Construction Worker Who Suffered PTSD After Watching Others Fall

The Perecman Firm secured a $2,143,000 settlement for a construction worker who suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after watching other workers fall from a scaffold in a wind storm.

The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. represented a client who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depression, as a result of witnessing his co-workers fall from the scaffold, and from the fear and stress he experienced while hanging onto the scaffold as the others fell.

On July 18, 1997, the plaintiff, an asbestos remover, was participating in the renovation of a building. The plaintiff and three other workers were on a suspension scaffold, removing asbestos-containing material from the building's fourth-floor facade and window frames. None of the men were wearing safety harnesses. The scaffold was covered with a tentlike plastic sheet, to contain the asbestos. A storm erupted and shook the scaffold for several minutes. The plaintiff’s co-workers were tossed off the scaffold; two died. The plaintiff was able to hang onto the scaffold, but he claimed that he suffers from PTSD and major depression as a result of the incident.

The plaintiff filed a lawsuit claiming that the accident stemmed from an elevation-related hazard, as defined by Labor Law 240(1). He was granted pretrial summary judgment, and the matter proceeded to damages.

During the trial, the parties agreed to a $2,143,000 settlement.

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