This construction accident settlement involves a 45- year old undocumented worker who fractured his right ankle as the result of falling from a scaffold in Westchester County. The accident occurred on property that consisted of 650 acres of farmland and two buildings. The owner of the property hired the worker’s employer to connect the two existing buildings to create a commercial horse facility.
On the day of his accident the worker was in the process of installing a form used to set cement in an area where a window was going to be installed. The worker performed this task while standing on a six-foot scaffold. The scaffold only had three planks, instead of four, that were laid loosely on top of the scaffold. As the worker stood up after performing this task, a wooden plank that he was standing on suddenly slid out from under him causing him and the plank to fall at least six feet to the cement ground below.
The scaffold was not equipped with safety railings and the worker was not provided with any fall protection. Following his fall, the worker was taken to a nearby hospital where he was diagnosed with a fracture of his right calcaneus (heel bone). Unfortunately, the worker’s injury was complicated by uncontrolled diabetes and a pre-existing vascular condition. As a result, the worker treated conservatively with an orthopedist and podiatrist who placed him initially in a CAM walker which was followed with physical therapy, injections and orthotics. Unfortunately, the worker’s fracture did not heal and a year after his accident the worker underwent a surgical procedure to unite the fractured bone and to repair damage to the tendons in his ankle.
During the litigation of this matter, John J. Nonnenmacher, Esq successfully convinced the Judge assigned to the case that the worker was entitled to prevail on the issue of liability as a matter of law, arguing that the failure to ensure that the scaffold was properly braced and secured and the failure to provide the worker with any fall protection violated the Labor Law of the State of New York which was the cause of the worker’s accident and resulting injuries.
The worker’s case was stalled initially because the worker sought additional treatment which prolonged the course of the pre-trial proceedings. Once these pre-trial proceedings were completed, the worker’s case was then delayed due to the Pandemic. During the litigation of this matter the insurance company defending the worker’s action offered Nonnenmacher the sum of $250,000.00 which was increased eventually to $350,000.00. It was the contention of the attorneys retained by the insurance company that the worker sustained a simple fracture and attempted to use the worker’s pre-existing conditions of diabetes and his vascular condition as a shield. In rejecting the insurance companies offers, Nonnenmacher used the worker’s pre-existing condition as a sword arguing, “you take your victims as you find them.” “By failing to provide this 45- year old worker who had pre-existing conditions with a safe scaffold and proper safety devices, the owner of the property was responsible for all of the damages resulting from this accident including the complications arising from the worker’s pre-existing conditions.
Nonnenmacher’s persuasiveness won the day for his client at a mediation where Nonnenmacher secured the $2,500,000.00 settlement. John J. Nonnenmacher, Esq. is a senior trail attorney at Oresky & Associates, PLLC and has been selected by his peers as one of New York’s Super Lawyers for more than a decade and was selected to be included in the “Best of the Best” as a trial attorney. At Oresky & Associates, PLLC we aggressively represent our clients from the moment we are retained until the conclusion of the case. Our entire staff of attorneys and paralegals work together to obtain the maximum compensation for our clients.
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