During the construction phase of 1 World Trade Center, a 44 year-old laborer was caused to slip and fall from a ladder while working. The ladder was supposed to be fixed with a kicker at the bottom and tied off at the top. Though the client used the ladder during the morning work session without issue, he claimed that the kicker and tie-off were subsequently removed before he had his accident. While on the ladder working at a height above, the ladder slipped and he fell approximately 15 feet.
He reported the incident at the scene and was taken home by a co-worker. He returned the next day but could not complete the tasks required of him. He began to complain of pain to his neck and back. The injured worker had prior back surgery but it was his position, which we supported with medical evidence and the fact that he returned to work for the last 10 years, that the prior injury had resolved and this new accident resulted in new complaints of pain.
The firm was retained and we immediately spoke with and secured several witnesses who saw the accident and/or the aftermath and would corroborate the client’s version.
After conservative treatment, plaintiff underwent an anterior cervical partial corpectomy of C4, decompression of C4-C5 disk space, anterior interbody arthrodesis, anterior cervical corpectomy of C6, decompression of C5-C6 disk space, anterior interbody arthrodesis. This did provide some relief though he continues to treat with medication. As the lumbar spine also did not improve with conservative treatment, he underwent anterior decompression of L5-S1 disc space; anterior interbody arthrodesis at L5-S1 disc level; insertion of intervertebral biomechanical device at L5-S1 disc level; anterior lumbar instrumentation at L5-S1 disc level; use of allograft osteopromotive material.
The client, married with three children has not been able to return to work. Daniela Henriques, partner at Leav & Steinberg made a motion for summary judgment under the Labor Law Section 240(1). That motion, argued that the liability should be found against the owner and general contractor of the site. That motion was pending in the Supreme Court, Bronx County and had not yet been decided. Daniel Leav, senior partner, conducted all the depositions and maintained constant contact with the clients throughout the litigation.
Partners Edward Steinberg and Daniel Leav attended a private mediation and was able to secure a $5,000,000.00 recovery for the client. This recovery will allow him and his family to have the financial comfort of being able to attend to their daily needs and also make sure they can replace the income that the client has lost.