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New York Construction Worker Who Fell from Scaffold with Loose Wheel Wins Liability Claim

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    construction-scaffoldingWhen you’re injured on a construction job, there are many things that you’ll have “on your plate.” One thing you should not overlook is your legal claim for damages as a result of the harm you suffered. This is one area in which experienced legal counsel can be very helpful to you. Success in your claim may require several things, including eyewitness testimony, expert witness testimony, medical records, and so forth. In a recent case involving a man injured while working on an asbestos removal project, he was able to achieve success because he had the right type and amount of evidence to back up all of the central allegations within his case.

    The injured employee was working at a state office building in Albany. To perform his asbestos removal job, the worker was on a scaffold, six feet off the ground. At some point, the employee’s supervisor and a co-worker decided to attempt to move the scaffold and lift it over a hose or an electrical cord. As a complicating factor, they attempted to accomplish this move with the worker still standing on the scaffold. As the other two men picked up the scaffold, a wheel came free from the bottom of the scaffold because the pin that should have held the wheel in place was missing. When the wheel released, the scaffold tipped and threw the worker to the ground.

    According to the worker, he landed on his back, and the scaffold landed on his legs. He reported losing consciousness briefly in the incident. He was transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital. He reported that his pain level was a 7 on a scale of 1-10.

    The injured worker later brought a lawsuit under the “Scaffold Law” (Section 240(1) of the New York Labor Law). The worker alleged that his fall caused him to suffer injuries to his neck, lower back, right elbow, right shoulder, and left wrist.

    In support of his case, the worker had several important pieces of evidence. He had the testimony of his co-worker and his supervisor, who gave descriptions of the accident that supported the claims made by the injured man. The plaintiff also had an expert witness, who was a “certified site safety manager” with 36 years of construction industry experience, who gave an opinion that the scaffold didn’t provide the proper level of protection. As the expert pointed out in his testimony, the “very fact that one of the wheels fell out of the scaffold frame’s end posts shows that the scaffold was not maintained in a safe condition.”

    On the basis of all of this evidence, the injured worker asked the trial court to issue a summary judgment in his favor and find the defendant liable based solely on the written pleading documents and without requiring a trial.

    The defendant, in its opposition, focused heavily upon details regarding the nature and extent of the worker’s injuries, arguing that the injuries were not as severe as what the worker alleged or that the accident did not happen in the manner described. Even if the defense’s arguments attacking the severity of the worker’s injuries were true, they did nothing to change whether or not the defendant was liable. As the trial court explained in an order ruling in favor of the plaintiff, the defense gave the court “no proof directly contradicting the central allegations made by” the plaintiff. The worker alleged and offered proof that he he fell from a height of six feet, that the fall was a result of a “defective and improperly placed” scaffold, that he was completing a task covered by Section 240(1), and that the fall he suffered injured his neck and arm, as well as causing a loss of consciousness. That was enough to support his claim for liability.

    If you’re injured performing your construction job, you may be entitled to recover damages for the harm you suffered, and, if so, the knowledge and skill of experienced counsel may be extremely valuable to you. The skilled New York City scaffolding accident attorneys at the law offices of Jacob Oresky have been helping injured construction workers throughout the New York metro area, including in Westchester County and on Long Island, with their construction accident cases and other legal needs for many years. Our office prides itself on providing both diligent representation and personalized service to our clients.

    For a free case evaluation, contact us online or call our office at 718-993-9999. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    More blog posts:

    New York Construction Worker’s Win in Makeshift Ramp Case and What it Means for You, New York Accident Lawyer Blog, June 21, 2017

    Three Week Construction Accident Trial Results In $2.75 Million Dollar Settlement, New York Accident Lawyer Blog, April 25, 2017

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