$8.5 Million Verdict for Construction Laborer
November 10, 2011
By John C. Merlino,Esq
Imagine his terror as one of our clients felt himself slip towards a gaping hole at an unsafe construction site.
He fell more than 25 feet, striking his head and shattering the bones in his leg. Fortunately he came to my law firm Dinkes & Schwitzer. William Schwitzer, our lead trial attorney, knew the young laborer deserved more than just workers compensation — this unsafe construction site failed to comply with the New York State Labor Law.
On behalf of our client, William Schwitzer sued and won $8.5 million for our client and his family. The accident happened while working on a rooftop in Brooklyn, N.Y. The 28-year old laborer gathered demolition debris and threw it down an opening in the roof. But he was not provided a harness or any safety gear. When he lost his footing at the ragged edge of the hole, there was nothing to stop his fall onto the pile of debris more than 25 feet below.
He broke his left leg so badly that the wound required surgery to set the pieces of bone with stainless steel screws and plates, a procedure called “open reduction and internal fixation.” The injury required a second surgery to remove the hardware. His left leg is now half an inch shorter than his right, according to our client, who says that he now needs a cane to walk. The young laborer also struck his head. Doctors found internal bleeding in their scan of his skull and he says that he has experienced memory problems since the accident.
Injured workers must know what their legal entitlements are if they are injured at work, especially at a construction site. Going to the right law firm or attorney is the most important step in protecting those rights. William Schwitzer is recognized as one of the top trial attorneys in New York State. He rightfully contended this unsafe worksite violated New York State’s Labor Law, Sec. 240, which requires that proper protection be given, specifically for height related work commonly associated with scaffolds.
The defendant contended that our client’s leg injury resulted in minor residual damage, and that he did not suffer from brain damage. The defendants offered him $2 million. William Schwitzer fought hard, after a two and a half week trial the Jury deliberated for one hour in favor of our client. The jury awarded $8.5 million to our client of which $750,000 was awarded to his wife for loss of service, recognizing that the accident had impaired his ability to help his wife.
Dinkes & Schwitzer is dedicated to protecting the rights of the injured against insurance companies and big corporations. We’ve recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients and we may be able to help you too. Our lawyers, including William Schwitzer and John C. Merlino who are strong activists for many workers and labor organizations. Visit us at: www.dandsatlaw.com or call: (718) 781-8389 or (212) 683-3800