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Hach & Rose, LLP, Secured a $2,500,000 Settlement for a Union Worker in a Slip and Fall Accident

The plaintiff was a union-employed sheet-metal worker assigned to a building construction project in midtown Manhattan. While walking on the building’s roof, the plaintiff slipped and fell on a piece of plywood. The plaintiff sustained injuries to his knees and shoulders.

The plaintiff retained Hach & Rose, LLP, as counsel to represent him in a lawsuit against the building’s owners and the project’s general contractors. Hach & Rose, LLP, argued that the defendants violated the New York State Labor Law, specifically Labor Law Sections 200 and 241(6).

New York State Labor Law Section 200 places a general duty on property owners, employers, and contractors to protect the health and safety of employees while working in constructions sites. Furthermore, Section 241(6) extends the general duty and provides that all areas in which construction, excavation, or demolition work is being performed shall provide reasonable and adequate protections to workers in that construction site.

Hach & Rose, LLP, claimed that the plywood was used as a walkway for construction workers in order to avoid stepping on river rocks that were on the roof. The board was not secured and was worn by exposure to weather and constant wear and tear during the course of the project. “Under such circumstances, the defendants violated the general safety provisions of Labor Law § 200 and failed to properly safeguard the construction site as required by Labor Law § 241(6)” said Michael A. Rose, Senior Partner at Hach & Rose, LLP.

Defense counsels argued that the New York State Labor Law Sections contended by the plaintiff did not apply and that the plaintiff knew about the presence and condition of the boards on the roof and could have walked around them.

A pretrial settlement was negotiated by the parties and the defendant’s insurance agreed to pay $2,500,000 to compensate the plaintiff for his injuries and damages.


Tunnel worker injuries and filing legal claims

Unfortunately, the men and women who work for Laborers’ Local 147, also known as the New York City Sandhogs, are all too often put in serious danger due in part to the nature of their job, but also largely because of the negligence of contractors and construction site owners. In fact, such negligence can cause these tunnel workers to sustain often severe and lasting injuries, for which they often deserve compensation.

New York Labor Law allows for injured tunnel workers to bring claims against these parties when they are at fault for the injuries the workers sustain. Examples of acts of negligence that warrant such legal claims include failure to provide adequate and necessary safety equipment, equipment that is not well-maintained or malfunctions, failing to provide proper supervision or training, violating safety regulations, and more.

Should a tunnel worker sustain injuries due to these or other acts of negligence, they may be able to file a legal claim. However, as many of these claims are typically filed against municipalities, taking legal action as quickly as possible is necessary. This is due to the requirement that a claimant must file a Notice of Claim no later than 90 days after the injury occurs.

Learn more about tunnel workers and filing legal claims after an accident here.

At Hach & Rose, LLP, our lawyers fight for injured tunnel workers and other construction workers in New York to get the compensation they need. Call us at (212) 779-0057 to discuss your situation and legal options.


Toyota settles $3M sudden acceleration case

Automotive manufacturer Toyota reached a deal in a sudden acceleration case in the United States last Friday after an Oklahoma jury declared the company responsible for the 2007 Camry crash that killed one woman and injured another.

As a result of the settlement, Toyota has agreed to pay around $1.6 billion in economic losses, which could include repair costs or lowered value costs, over the acceleration issues, but did not cover any personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits. However, the jury did order the company to pay $3 million to the victims.

According to the lawsuit, software malfunctions in the electronic throttle control system of the victim’s 2005 Camry caused the vehicle to become uncontrollable, resulting in her death in a car accident.

The Camry has not been included in Toyota’s recently issued recalls.

If you too have been injured by a defective vehicle in New York, talk with an attorney from Hach & Rose, LLP. We can help you explore your legal options and possibly begin taking action against the negligent manufacturer. Get in touch today by calling (212) 779-0057.


Hach & Rose Successfully Represented and Obtained a $3,475,000 Settlement for a Union Carpenter who Fell from a 20 Foot Elevated Roof

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.


Contractors ask for New York law revision

The General Contractors Association (GCA) of New York has asked Albany government officials to craft legislation that would incorporate comparative negligence standards in the assessment of liability.

The association believes that the comparative negligence clause “creates a fair process when dealing with a worker injury while also dealing with the issues of rising costs.”

According to the GCA, requiring contractors to shoulder 100% of the liability regardless of the accident’s details has caused insurance costs to skyrocket.

A 2% to 4% insurance cost increase would result in an 8%-12% total project cost increase, the association surmised.

If you or a loved one has been injured on an employer’s property, you may be entitled to compensation. Please contact the experienced construction accident attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP, in New York at (212) 779-0057 to discuss your situation today.


Hach & Rose Secures $275,000 Settlement for Man Hit by Bus

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, close to 11% of all car accidents involve a hit and run driver. Hach & Rose is committed to representing and defending victims in such accidents, and is pleased to have negotiated a $275,000 settlement on behalf of a plaintiff involved in a similar personal injury suit.

In this particular case, the plaintiff, a heavy equipment operator, was hit by a small bus while loading a flat bed truck. After the accident, the bus fled the scene. Fortunately, a fellow motorist that witnessed the accident followed the bus after it left. Eventually, the bus was stopped by the police.

The worker was immediately taken to the hospital. He sustained neck and back injuries, including herniated discs.

Hach & Rose is pleased with the settlement outcome, which will compensate the plaintiff for his past pain and suffering.


$2,000,000 Settlement for an Engineer who Fell from a Ladder while Repairing a Garage Door

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.


Hach & Rose, LLP, Successfully Represented A Worker To Win a $2,100,000 Settlement

The Plaintiff was repairing a door located in the school’s basement. The door was situated some 10 feet above the basement’s floor and accessible via a metal ladder affixed to the wall. The ladder led to a 10-inch-wide doorstep sill. As a result of this odd configuration, the plaintiff had to work with one foot on the sill and the other on the ladder’s second-highest rung. The plaintiff grabbed the doorknob and tested the door. The doorknob broke causing the plaintiff to lose balance and fall to the basement floor. The plaintiff sustained injuries in his foot and shoulder.

The Plaintiff, represented by his counsel Hach & Rose, LLP, sued the school owners, the city of New York, and the school’s operator, the New York City Department of Education. The claim alleges that the defendants violated the New York State Labor Law, specifically Section 200.

Section 200 provides that all construction industry employers must provide a reasonably safe environment for all of their employees as well as anyone else legally on their work site. Specifically, the law requires that employers properly maintain, guard, light, and operate all machinery and other equipment on the construction site.

Plaintiff’s counsel argues that the ladder which the plaintiff used was not properly constructed and the work site was not properly safeguarded. Plaintiff’s counsel also presented a workplace-safety expert who opined that the ladder’s rungs were not properly spaced. The expert contended that the resultant defect constituted a violation of standards promulgated by the American National Standards Institute and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Furthermore, the expert opined that the doorknob had not been properly attached, and he contended that the resultant defect violated relevant codes.

Defense counsel contended that Labor Law Section 200 was inapplicable to this case as the law’s scope is limited to incidents that occur during construction, demolition or excavation. Defense counsel further argued that the doorknob’s detachment was an unforeseeable, unpreventable event.

As a result of the accident the plaintiff was forced to undergo ankle fusion surgery.

The parties negotiated a settlement during trial and the defendant agreed and paid the worker a total of $2,100,000.


$2,000,000 for a Construction Site Worker Hit By a Pipe

A worker, who is a union-affiliated sheet-metal specialist, who worked at a construction site installing ventilation ducts had a 6-pound metal elbow joint from a pipe located 16 feet above the worker’s head fall and strike the worker’s head. The worker sustained injuries to his back, his head, and his neck. Hach & Rose, LLP, representing the worker, sued the construction site owner, the project general, and subcontractors.

Michael A. Rose, Partner at Hach & Rose, LLP, argued that the defendants violated the New York State Labor Law Section 240(1). Under Section 240(1), contractors and property owners are directly responsible when a worker is injured by an object that falls on a construction site, striking that person. The worker’s counsel presented evidence that the elbow was not properly secured to the pipe and overhead protection should have been installed to reduce the hazard of falling objects. In addition, the worker’s counsel argued that contractors and the property owner failed to provide the proper safety equipment as required by the law and industry safety standards.

As a result of the appropriate representation, the plaintiff counsel successfully submitted a motion for summary judgment, which the court granted, finding that the defendants violated Labor Law § 240(1). The remaining procedure was the determination of adequate damages for the worker.


NYPD officer charged with vehicular manslaughter

A pedestrian was killed on Friday morning, October 4 in Staten Island, New York when an off-duty New York Police Department officer plowed his personal sport utility vehicle into him. According to CBS New York, 51-year-old Maryland resident William “Bruce” Hemphill was struck by 29-year-old Joseph McClean, who was speeding when the accident took place.

Hemphill was trying to get to the other side of the road to his job at Great Lakes Dredge and Dock when McClean crashed into him.

The 121st Precinct-based police officer remained at the scene of the accident and was arrested on account of second-degree vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated charges.

Police are still investigating the incident.


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