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Result: $2.5 Million Settlement for Union Laborer Injured in Fall From Platform Into Trench

The Perecman Firm secured a $2,500,000 settlement for a union laborer who was injured after a temporary platform shifted, causing him to fall into the trench underneath.

The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. represented a client suffering a bucket-handle tear of his left knee's medial meniscus.

On March 18, 2002, the plaintiff, a union laborer, worked at a construction site. He was building a walkway that would have traversed a trench that contained pipes. The plaintiff had to work inside the trench, but the pipes needed to be protected from damage, so they were covered by a temporary platform. The plaintiff was told that he could stand on the platform. However, during the course of his work, the platform shifted, and he fell to the bottom of the trench. He sustained a knee injury.

The plaintiff sued the job site's owner and the property's managing agent. He alleged that the defendants violated the labor law.

The plaintiff’s counsel claimed that the work site violated the general safety requirements established by Labor Law 200. They also claimed that the platform was not properly secured and safeguarded and that, as such, the site violated Labor Law 241(6). They further claimed 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 safety equipment that is a requirement of the statute. They moved for pretrial summary judgment of liability.

The defendants contended that they did not control or supervise the platform's erection or placement. They claimed that the plaintiff should have secured the platform.

During pendency of defense counsel's appeal, the parties agreed to a $2.5 million settlement.

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