While the Plaintiff, a 47-year-old operating engineer and a union member, was standing on a ladder and repairing a garage door, the ladder shifted, causing the Plaintiff to fall. The Plaintiff suffered fractures to his right tibial pilon and a fibula. In addition, the Plaintiff underwent a fusion of the right ankle and sustained a herniated disc at C3-4 from having to walk with a cane.
The Plaintiff retained Hach & Rose, LLP, and sued the property owners, alleging violations of Labor Law Section 240. Under Section 240, contractors and property owners are required to provide workers operating at heights with the necessary devices and equipment to guarantee the workers’ safety while working at an elevation, providing legal protection to workers.
Plaintiff’s counsel argued that the ladder was an insufficient device to perform the work. At the time of the accident, a co-worker was holding the ladder. Plaintiff’s counsel contended that the co-worker was not doing his job while holding the ladder.
Defense counsel argued that the Plaintiff was engaged in routine maintenance at the time of the accident and that he jumped off the ladder when he was frightened by a loud noise that came from the garage door’s operating mechanism. Defense counsel also argued that there was no defect in the ladder and that the Plaintiff was the sole proximate cause of the accident.
The parties negotiated a settlement and the defendant agreed and paid the worker a total of $2,000,000.
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