Personal Injury, Multiple Fractures of Tibia, Fractured Ribs
Injuries: Multiple Fractures of Tibia, Fractured Ribs
Facts and Claim of Liability:
On December 14, 2005, plaintiff was working at the Time-Life Building on 6th Avenue in Manhattan. His employer had been hired to paint the cooling tower, which was located on the 48th floor of the building. Plaintiff was in the process of painting the outside of the cooling tower when he fell from the platform he had been standing on approximately 9 to 10 feet and landed on a lower platform, which was located between where he had been painting and the ground. He had not been wearing a safety harness while painting, as the company plaintiff worked for had the painters use safety harnesses only when they worked at “elevated” heights outdoors.
After the fall, plaintiff initially had difficulty breathing. Emergency medical services arrived at the scene, and plaintiff was transported to St. Vincent’s Hospital via ambulance. An X-ray revealed numerous fractures of his tibia, as well as a couple of fractured ribs. Plaintiff ultimately spent about a week in the hospital, and had to undergo open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) surgery. When he was discharged from the hospital, he was given both a walker and crutches.
Currently, in spite of two surgeries and physical therapy, plaintiff’s fractures have not healed properly, and his ankle is now frozen in a fixed position. His leg hurts constantly. Prior to the accident, plaintiff was very active; now, however, he cannot even drive a car. He tires easily when walking or standing, and he is unable to work. Doctors have told him that future surgery may be necessary.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in New York County Supreme Court, arguing that defendant owners of the building breached their statutory duty to plaintiff by failing to provide a safe place to work; failing to furnish or erect or cause to be furnished or erected adequate and elevated work platforms, proper scaffolding, cover openings or shafts on the floor of the elevated work platform and provide slings, braces, nets, ropes, tail lines, life lines, secure safety belt and harness anchor points and other devices pursuant to Sections 200(1), 240(1) and 241(6) as well as specific provisions of 12 NYCRR-Part 23 Industrial Code for Protection in Construction. Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald argued that all of the aforementioned constituted a dangerous condition to plaintiff and other workers at the subject worksite, and were a substantial factor in causing the accident wherein plaintiff sustained serious injuries. Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendants for a total of $955,160.51.