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Result: $1.2 Million Settlement at Trial for Union Laborer Injured in a Fall From a Collapsing Ladder

The Perecman Firm secured a $1,200,000 settlement at trial for a union laborer who was injured in a fall from a ladder when it collapsed on a job site.

The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. represented a client who suffered back and knee injuries.

On Oct. 28, 2011, the plaintiff, 27, a union-affiliated deckman, worked at a construction site that was located in Manhattan. Workers were constructing an upper story of a skyscraper. An extension ladder provided access to the unfinished floor, from a lower, finished floor. The ladder fell while the plaintiff was descending it. The plaintiff plummeted a distance of about 10 feet, and he landed on the lower floor. He claimed that he suffered an injury of a knee.

The plaintiff sued the construction project's general contractor and the premises' owner. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants negligently failed to provide a safe workplace. He further alleged that the defendants' failure constituted a violation of the New York State Labor Law.

The plaintiff claimed that the accident was a result of the ladder's upper edge having been unsecured. The ladder's upper edge was resting against a finished edge of the floor that was being constructed. The plaintiff also claimed that he was not provided a safety harness or any other equipment that could have prevented his fall.

Plaintiff's counsel contended that the accident 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.

Plaintiff's counsel moved for summary judgment of liability, and the motion was granted. The matter proceeded to damages.

After selection of a jury, but prior to the scheduled start of opening statements, the parties negotiated a settlement. The defendants tendered their self-insurance policy, which provided coverage of $1 million, and the defendants' excess insurer agreed to pay $200,000. Thus, the settlement totaled $1.2 million.

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