Result: 12-Foot Fall Results in $2.4 Million Settlement

The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., Reaches $2.4 Million Settlement for Construction Worker Who Fell 12-Feet at Brooklyn School

The multi-million dollar settlement stems from a July 2006 incident in which the plaintiff, a 39-year-old union construction worker, suffered injuries after falling approximately 12 feet. As noted in the case, the plaintiff has been working on a renovation project at a public school in Brooklyn.

While performing his work preparing planks to act as shores for an excavation site behind a school building, the plaintiff had to stand on top of a metal container where the planks were being stored. When passing the wood planks one by one to a coworker on the ground 12 feet below, the plaintiff lost his balance and fell. He claimed injuries to his right foot and heel.

The plaintiff filed suit against the general contractor overseeing for the renovation project, the NYC School Construction Authority, and the City of New York, which owned the premises, alleging they violated state Labor Law. This includes claims that the defendants failed to provide adequate and safe equipment for workers facing elevation-related hazards as required by Labor Law § 240(1), failed to properly safeguard the worksite per Labor Law § 241(6), failed to meet general safety provisions outlined by Labor Law § 200, and committed a number of other OSHA and NYCRR violations.

Summary judgement of liability was granted, and a subsequent trial was held to address damages.

During trial, the jury was informed the plaintiff suffered a crushing injury of his right foot and a fracture of the right calcaneus (heel bone), which caused him to suffer from reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) and tarsal tunnel syndrome of his right heel.

An initial procedure was performed using internal fixation to treat the fracture, and another surgery was done to release the tarsal tunnel and remove part of the plantar fascia in his foot. The plaintiff claimed the injuries continue to cause him pain and suffering, post-traumatic degenerative joint disease of the subtalar joint, and arthritis of the right ankle, which will require additional treatment in the future. Additionally, the injuries limit his mobility, including his ability to stand for long periods of time and his ability to work.

The defense argued the plaintiff had recovered well from his injuries, as evidenced by his current MRIs and ability to walk without a limp or the need for a supportive device. Defense counsel also contended the plaintiff’s immigration status and the fact he worked only half of the year in the U.S. limited his claim for lost earnings.

A settlement was negotiated during trial, and the defendants paid a total of $2.4 million to cover the plaintiff’s damages.

The successful recovery highlights our legal team’s commitment to protecting the rights and futures of our clients, even when cases involve complexities of medical evidence and labor law, multiple defendants, and public entities which are often subject to unique rules and procedures in civil personal injury cases.