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Worker Claimed Ladder Shifted, Tossed Him Onto Sidewalk


FACTS AND ALLEGATIONS On July 24, 2007, plaintiff, C.C., 35, a construction worker, worked at a building that was located at 49 E. Jericho Turnpike, in Mineola. C.C. was constructing a parapet wall that would span the perimeter of the building’s roof. During the course of that task, he fell off a ladder. He fell about 5 feet, and he landed on the ground. He claimed that he sustained injuries of an arm and his back.

C.C. sued the premises’ owner, Wilsal Realty Corp., and the and the premises’ tenant, Wendel Home Center Inc. C.C. alleged that the defendants violated the New York State Labor Law.

C.C. claimed that he fell when his ladder shifted. He contended that the ladder had been merely leaned against one side of the building, and he claimed that the ladder had been provided by an employee of Wendel Home Center.

C.C.’s counsel contended that the ladder should have been secured. He claimed that the incident stemmed from an elevation-related hazard, as defined by Labor Law section 240(1), and that C.C. was not provided the proper, safe equipment that is a requirement of the statute.

INJURIES/DAMAGES closed reduction; fracture, arm; fracture, humerus; herniated disc at L4-5; herniated disc at L5-S1; laminectomy; physical therapy

C.C. was placed in an ambulance, and he was transported to a hospital. Doctors determined that he was suffering a fracture of his right, dominant arm’s humerus. The fracture was addressed via closed reduction.

C.C. claimed that he also sustained herniations of his L4-5 and L5-S1 intervertebral discs. On January 23, 2009, he underwent and open mini-laminectomy, which involved the excision of the posterior arches of his L4, L5 and S1 vertebrae. He also underwent physical therapy.

C.C. claimed that he suffers residual, disabling pain that prevents his resumption of work. He also claimed that his residual condition limits his performance of man other activities.

C.C. sought reimbursement of a workers’ compensation lien that approximated $300,000. He also sought recovery of his past medical expenses, past and future lost earnings, and damages for his past and future pain and suffering.

RESULT C.C.’s counsel moved for summary judgment of liability. During pendency of the motion, the parties negotiated a settlement, which was finalized via the guidance of mediator Marvin Segal, of The Jansen Group, Inc. The defendants’ insurer agreed to pay $780,000, and the workers’ compensation lien was reduced to $185,000.