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Result: $1.14M Recovered for Injured Worker

The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. Secures Positive Result for Electrician’s Assistant Who Fell From Scaffold, Suffered Knee Injuries

The plaintiff, a 29-year-old Electrician’s assistant, was working at a condominium lobby renovation site in Manhattan when, in the course of performing his job, he fell off a scaffold. The plaintiff fell roughly six feet and landed on the floor, and claimed he sustained injuries to his knee as a result.

The plaintiff claimed the accident resulted from the scaffold being tipped by another worker who was attempting to climb its platform. Upon investigation, our legal team contended the scaffold was unsafe because it had not been constructed fully, that the incident arose from an elevation-related hazard per Labor Law § 240(1), and that the plaintiff was not provided safe and proper equipment as required by the statute. Several defendants were named in the lawsuit, including:

  • The owner of the building’s common areas (Board of Managers)
  • The general contractor for the renovation project
  • The entity which owned several of the building’s condos
  • The property management group which owned the premises
  • An entity believed to own/manage the premises

Though the defense argued the plaintiff had been told to avoid using the scaffold, a summary judgment found that the general contractor and the owner of the building’s common areas were liable for the accident. A subsequent trial addressed damages suffered by the plaintiff.

During trial, the jury was shown that the plaintiff suffered a medial meniscus tear in his left knee and underwent arthroscopic surgery in 2009, followed by six weeks of physical therapy. After experiencing lingering weakness and a second tear of the medial meniscus, he again underwent arthroscopic surgery in 2011, as well as chondroplasty to repair damaged cartilage, a meniscectomy to remove the affected portion of the meniscus, and six weeks of physical therapy. In 2016, another arthroscopic surgery, with a chondroplasty and meniscectomy, was performed, followed by another six weeks of physical therapy.

Ultimately, the plaintiff was unable to work for nearly two years, continues to experience pain and reduced mobility of his left knee, and still faces other residual effects of his injury that will necessitate a future knee replacement. The suit sought a recovery of his past medical expenses and lost earnings, as well as a recovery for future medical needs, lost future income, and pain and suffering.

The defense countered by arguing that the injuries were not related to the accident, and that weeks had passed before the plaintiff sought treatment of his knee. The defense employed an expert radiologist and orthopedist to support their claims, and introduced surveillance video from 2015 and 2016 which showed the plaintiff walking and ascending steps without a limp.

Following four days of trial and two days of deliberation, the jury determined the plaintiff’s damages to be $850,000. Stipulated damages totaled $64,000, and $226,890.80 in interest was awarded – bringing the total recovery to $1,140,890. The defense had offered $125,000 prior to trial.

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