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RESULT: $2.6 Million Jury Verdict for Worker Injured in Fall From Sidewalk Bridge

The Perecman Firm secured a $2.6 million jury verdict for a worker who was injured when he fell from a sidewalk bridge.

The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. represented a client who sustained herniated disc at C2-3, herniated disc at C3-4, herniated disc at C4-5, herniated disc at L4-5, heart, pulmonary / respiratory, deep vein thrombosis, pacemaker, fusion, lumbar, embolism, physical therapy and epidural injections after falling from a sidewalk bridge.

On Dec. 1, 2008, our client, a union-affiliated carpenter, worked at a renovation site that was located at 301 Sutter Ave., in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. During the course of his work, the plaintiff fell off of a scaffold that he was repairing. He plummeted about 10 feet, struck a fence and landed on the ground. He claimed that he sustained injuries of his back and neck.

The plaintiff sued the premises' owner. Hussain alleged that the premises’ owner violated the New York State Labor Law.

The premises’ owner impleaded the plaintiff’s employer. The premises’ owner alleged that the plaintiff’s employer controlled and directed the plaintiff work functions.

The third-party claim was dismissed, but the plaintiff’s employer was obligated to indemnify the premises’ owner.

The plaintiff claimed that the accident occurred while he was climbing off of the scaffold. He claimed that he had not been given a ladder or any other equipment that would have provided safe access to high areas of the scaffold.

The plaintiff 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. The plaintiff counsel also contended that the premises’ owner failed to provide or ensure reasonable and adequate protection, as required by Labor Law 241(6). They further contended that the premises’ owner violated Labor Law 200, which defines general workplace-safety requirements.

Labor Law 240(1) is not applicable to incidents that occur during routine maintenance or work that does not involve a significant alteration of a building. Defense counsel contended that the repair of a scaffold is a matter of routine maintenance and, thus, that Labor Law 240(1) was not applicable to the case.

Defense counsel also contended that a ladder was available, but that the plaintiff elected to climb the scaffold. The case settled prior to verdict for $2.6 million.

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