NEW YORK CONSTRUCTION SITE ACCIDENT – WORKER STRUCK BY BRICK – FRACTURED RIBS AND CHEST WALL INJURY
Defendant Found Liable: City of New York
Jury Verdict: $124,040 for Plaintiff, a carpenter
- $60,000 for past pain and suffering
- $2,100 for past pain and suffering
- $2,100 for past medical expenses
- $50,000 for past lost earnings
- $1,940 for future medical expenses
- $10,000 for future lost earnings
- $3,000 for Plaintiff’s spouse for loss of services
- Nondisplaced fracture of the tenth and eleventh ribs on his back
- Small scar, and a chest wall injury
Pltf. had not returned to work since the date of this accident. His treating physician testified that Pltf.’s chest wall injury is permanent, and Pltf. claimed that he experiences pain if he performs any physical activity.
Facts: Plaintiff, a 59-year-old carpenter, brought this action for New York construction accident injuries he suffered on 3/31/92 at approximately 11:30 AM at a building owned by Defendant, the City of New York, on W. 158th St. in Manhattan. Plaintiff was employed by the subcontractor Pinkham Contracting Services (nonparty), and Delcor Assoc. (action severed) was the construction manager. Defendant was in the process of doing extensive renovations to the building. On the date of the accident, Plaintiff was cutting beams with a circular saw on a patio located at basement level. The beams were to be installed in an apartment three stories above the area where Plaintiff was working. Another work crew employed by Pinkham was working inside the building three stories above Pltf., cutting holes in the exterior brick wall to install the beams. The holes were being cut from the inside out, using an electric hammer, sledgehammer, or drill. As the work crew was cutting a hole on the wall, a 2-foot portion of it fell on the patio area where Pltf. was working, and a piece of one brick struck him on the right side of his back as he was bending over and cutting a beam. There were no other witnesses to the accident.
Plaintiff brought this action claiming violations of Labor Law § 240 for failure to provide nets or other safety devices. Deft. had commenced a Third-party action against Pltf.’s employer, but that action was abandoned. On the eve of trial, Deft. commenced a second Third-party action against Delcor Assoc., the construction manager, but that action was severed on Pltf.’s motion. Pltf. discontinued a common law negligence cause of action to avoid an Article 16 defense and apportionment.