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Result: $2.4 Million Settlement for Union Worker Injured in a Fall Without Safety Equipment

The Perecman Firm secured A $2,400,000 for a union worker who wasn’t provided any safety equipment and fell 12 feet from the top of a metal container.

The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. represented a client who sustained a crushing injury of his right foot with a fracture of the right calcaneus.

On July 14, 2006, the plaintiff, a union-employed construction worker, was working on a school renovation project. While he was preparing planks for shoring of an excavation site behind an existing school building, he stood on top of a metal container where the wooden planks used for shoring were stored. While the plaintiff was passing planks, one at a time, to a co-worker who was standing on the ground approximately 12 feet below, he lost his balance and fell with the plank 12 feet to the ground below. He claimed that he injured his right heel and foot.

The plaintiff sued the general contractor and the property owner. He alleged the defendants violated the New York State Labor Law.

The plaintiff claimed that there were no rails on the metal container he was standing on and that there were no safety harnesses or life lines available to him. He contended that when the weight of the plank he was holding caused him to lose his balance, nothing was there to prevent his fall.

The plaintiff’s counsel 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. He also contended that the site was not properly safeguarded and that, as such, it violated Labor Law ? 241(6). He further contended that the site violated the general safety provisions of Labor Law ? 200. In addition, plaintiff's counsel contended that the defendants violated numerous OSHA and NYCRR regulations.

The plaintiff’s counsel moved for summary judgment on liability, and it was granted. The matter subsequently proceeded to trial on the issues of damages.

During the trial, the parties negotiated a settlement. The defendants agreed to pay a total of $2.4 million.

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