A 35-year-old union affiliated carpenter (Plaintiff) was working on a construction site at Brooklyn Borough Hall when he fell off of a temporary roof, plummeting approximately 20 feet onto the permanent roof below. The Plaintiff sustained severe injuries to his back, shoulder, and neck.
The Plaintiff retained Hach & Rose, LLP, as counsels to represent him in a lawsuit against the owner of the premises, the city of New York, and the general contractor. Plaintiff counsels alleged that the defendants violated the New York State Labor Law, specifically Labor Law Section 240(1).
Labor Law Section 240 provides legal protection to workers while working at heights by placing responsibility on contractors and property owners to provide proper devices and equipment necessary to guarantee a worker’s safety while working at an elevation.
Plaintiff’s counsel contended that the incident stemmed from an elevation-related hazard, as defined by Labor Law Section 240(1), and that defendants failed to provide workers with the proper safety equipment that is a requirement of the statute and industry safety practices.
Defense counsel unsuccessfully argued that Plaintiff was the sole proximate cause of the accident and that there were ways to safely exit the roof by tying off.
After jury selection the defendants agreed to settle the case and paid the Plaintiff a total of $3,475,000.