Result: $1.2 Million Jury Verdict for Union Mason Worker Injured in Fall on Ramp

The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., secured a $1,240,000 million jury verdict for a union mason worker who was injured in a fall on a temporary ramp.

The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., represented a client who sustained herniated disc at C3-4, bulging disc, cervical, physical therapy, synovitis, chondromalacia / chondromalacia patella, nondisplaced fracture, fracture, wrist, knee, and effusion.

On Feb. 6, 2006, the plaintiff, a union-affiliated apprentice mason tender, worked at a renovation site. During the course of the day, the plaintiff boarded a personnel hoist that provided access to the upper levels of a building that was being repaired. The plaintiff exited the hoist upon reaching the building’s 10th floor, and she fell while she was descending a temporary ramp that led from the hoist’s landing to the 10th floor. She claimed that she sustained injuries of a knee, her neck and a wrist.

The plaintiff sued the premises’ owner, and the renovation project’s manager. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants violated the New York State Labor Law.

The plaintiff claimed that the ramp spanned a gap that measured 2 to 4 feet in height and that its surface was composed of wooden planks. She claimed that one of the planks shifted beneath her feet, that one of her legs fell into an opening created by the shifting plank, and that she fell forward, onto the ramp.

The plaintiff’s counsel contended that the defendants violated New York Codes, Rules, and Regulations, title 23, part 1.7(e)(1), which specifies that a work site’s passageways must be free of any condition that could constitute a tripping hazard, and parts 1.22(b)(2) and 1.22(b)(3), which specify that a ramp’s supporting planks must be securely joined and nailed. He further contended that the violations established that the defendants failed to provide or ensure reasonable and adequate protection, as required by Labor Law 241(6). The plaintiff’ counsel also contended that the incident stemmed from an elevation-related hazard, as defined by Labor Law 240(1), and that the plaintiff was not provided the proper, safe equipment that is a requirement of the statute.

Defense counsel contended that the ramp was safe. He also contended that a plank could not have shifted in the manner that the plaintiff described.

The plaintiff’ counsel moved for summary judgment of liability, and the motion was granted. The judge found that the defendants violated Labor Law 240(1) and 241(6). The trial addressed damages.