On August 10, 2012, while climbing down a ladder at work our client was caused to fall when the ladder tipped over as a result of being placed on wet Masonite. On the date of the accident the client was a 33 year old non-union electrical worker. He left the job site by cab but upon arriving home he was in such excruciating pain he went to the Emergency Room. He was admitted and diagnosed with a fracture to his pelvis and a herniation to his lower back. The client tried to treat conservatively with physical therapy. In February of 2013 the client attempted to return to work but due to his pain he was forced to go back out on Workers Compensation. A former client of Leav & Steinberg, who knew the plaintiff from the neighborhood was discussing his accident and pointed out that he should speak with an attorney and recommended Leav & Steinberg given the success we had for him in the past. After this meeting, the client contacted our office and retained us.
Leav & Steinberg, LLP immediately filed a lawsuit alleging Labor Law Sections 240(1) and 241(6), specifically Rule 23 Section 1-21(b)(4)(ii). Over the course of the next two years the client was required to undergo two surgeries; (1) for a torn labrum in his hip and (2) a lumbar fusion in order to stabilize the vertebrae at L4-5. Leav & Steinberg, LLP completed discovery and had the matter placed on the trail calendar less than 3 years after the date of accident. The parties participated in Mediation where an offer of $1,500,000.00 was made. Upon the legal advice of Leav & Steinberg, LLP this offer was rejected by the client. A motion was also made by Daniela F. Henriques, Esq., for partial summary judgment on the issue of liability pursuant to Labor Law Section 240(1). The motion was still pending on the date of the settlement. The defendants’ position on the motion was that the accident was caused solely by the decision of the plaintiff to use equipment that was not safe and not secured.
In light of the fact that the trial was scheduled for October, 2016, the defendant’s again requested that we participate in a second non-binding mediation. They further argued that the client had made a good recovery and that his work history was sporadic. In addition, they argued that given his intelligence and other skills he could return to employment and earn an equal salary; even if not as an electrician.