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Tag Archives: spinal injury

Downtown Manhattan scaffold accident traps and injures five pedestrians

New York – High winds swept through the city, causing a construction scaffolding collapse. The fallen scaffold debris crashed down onto five pedestrians who were walking along the sidewalk below. Two of the construction accident victims were trapped and needed to be extricated by bystanders and emergency responders. All of the injury victims were treated and taken to local New York City hospitals for evaluation and treatment. Reported injuries ranged from a head injury to broken bones to a leg injury and possible spinal injury. Outraged community leaders have pointed out that scaffold accidents and injuries should be prevented by forcing building owners and construction companies to remove unnecessary and dangerous equipment. They note that many scaffoldings have been sitting around for many years despite no active work being done on the building above. They warn that leaving these structures, that by nature are supposed to be temporary, is a dangerous practice and leaves a hazardous condition for bystanders. Authorities with the building department explain that current laws and ordinances require owners to inspect their scaffolds every day but some activists doubt that this is actually done. They feel that owners and employers are guilty of negligence that leads to such work accidents. They demand that the city inspectors deal with this problem to prevent further injury or wrongful death, claiming that ignoring the problem is also negligent. See this article for more on this scaffolding pedestrian accident.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Photo Credit: stevemcarthur [License]

Long Island hit-and-run boat accident

New York – A woman was seriously injured in a boat crash last week in a Long Island waterway channel. The woman was sailing with her family and friends when a man “speeding” in another boat rear-ended hers. Witnesses explained that the collision occurred in a slow zone with signs posted declaring a speed limit of 5 MPH. They reported that the man who caused the accident was speeding much faster than the posted limit. The man fled the scene of the accident with injuries, which is a felony under New York State boating laws. The injured woman was rushed to a hospital for treatment of multiple injuries. Her injuries included burns, a spinal injury, a head injury and multiple burns and contusions. While the woman was the most severely injured, reports show that other passengers on the boat, including children, suffered wounds as well during the collision. Nassau County Police have now reported that they made an arrest in this hit-and-run accident case. The man, who lives in Island Park in Long Island, faces criminal charges and may also face a personal injury lawsuit from the injured victims. Investigators will need to also look into the cause of the accident, including possible drunk driving, distracted driving and reckless driving of the boat. To find out more about this boat accident, check out this article.

Illustrative Photo Credit: KOMUnews [License]

$500,000 Mediated Settlement -- Construction Worker Fell From Forklift

New York — A 54-year-old construction and demolition worker suffered a fall injury when he fell from a forklift truck. No safety equipment to prevent this had been issued to the man prior to this accident. He was left with a spinal injury. The injured worker consulted with an expert work injury attorney at Morrison & Wagner, who believed that the man was placed in a dangerous situation by the employer. The law firm helped mediate a $500,000 settlement payment to the injury victim.

Illustrative Photo Credit: D Coetzee [License]

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Worker fractured spine in fall off of forklift (VerdictSearch)

Mediated Settlement Amount: $500,000

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Court: Nassau Supreme, Nassau County, New York

Injury Type(s): back-fracture(fracture, L5); vertebra(fracture, L5); other-physical therapy; other-decreased range of motion

Case Type: Workplace – Forklift; Slips, Trips & Falls – Slips, Trips & Falls, Fall from Height
Worker/Workplace Negligence – Labor Law; Alternative Dispute Resolution – Mediation

Date: September 27, 2010

Plaintiff Attorney(s):
Eric H. Morrison; Morrison & Wagner; New York, NY

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Facts:

On July 30, 2008, the plaintiff, 54, a laborer, worked at a boatyard that was located in Oceanside. The plaintiff was demolishing an abandoned houseboat. The residual debris was being placed in drums, and the drums were being loaded onto a forklift, hoisted and transported to a dumpster. During the course of that operation, the worker fell off of the elevated prongs of the forklift. He fell about 10 feet, and he sustained an injury of his back.

The injured worker sued the demolition contractor that hired him, the premises’ owner, and the companies’ common principals. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants violated the New York State Labor Law.

The injury victim, who claimed that he regularly worked for the company, contended that the defendants had not provided a harness or any other equipment that could have prevented his fall. The plaintiff’s expert engineer opined that the absence of such equipment created an unsafe working condition.

The injured man’s counsel contended that the incident stemmed from an elevation-related hazard, as defined by Labor Law § 240(1), and that the plaintiff was not provided the proper, safe equipment that is a requirement of the statute.

One of the defendants contended that he had directed the company’s supervisor to fire the workman during the day that preceded the accident, but that the supervisor did not heed the instructions. The defendant claimed that he was not aware that the plaintiff had not been fired.

Injury:

The work accident victim sustained a fracture of his L5 vertebra. He was transported to a hospital, where he underwent five days of traction. His hospitalization lasted five days, and he subsequently underwent physical therapy.

The plaintiff claimed that he suffers a permanent residual reduction of his back’s range of motion, and he contended that he cannot resume work. The man’s expert orthopedic surgeon determined that Galvan sustained a severe injury and that the plaintiff cannot ambulate without the use of a cane.

The worker sought recovery of his future lost earnings and damages for his past and future pain and suffering.

The defendant’s counsel reported that he commissioned production of a post-accident videotape that proves that the plaintiff does not require a cane.

Result:

Each side moved for summary judgment, and the defendant’s insurer commenced a declaratory-judgment action that could have established that the insurer’s coverage did not extend to people who were working at the boatyard. During pendency of the motions and the declaratory-judgment action, the parties negotiated a settlement, which was finalized via the guidance of a mediator. The defendant’s insurer agreed to pay $500,000, from a policy that provided $1 million of coverage.

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Judge: Thomas A. Adams, Joseph P. Spinola

Editor’s Comment: This report is based on court documents and information that was provided by plaintiff’s and defense counsel.

$ 1.45 Million Premises Liability Settlement – Man Electrocuted in Stairwell

Dennis Marruco was electrocuted while walking up the stairs of a New York financial institution. He sustained significant burns and a fracture of his left arm. In addition, the burn victim suffered a spinal injury with fractured vertebrae. Trauma surgeons performed an operation to repair his arm with plates and screws. Mr. Marruco explained that the real estate management company should have done their due diligence to prevent such an accident. He was left injured and knew that he needed help to recoup the money that he had lost due to the institution’s failure.

The 67-year-old accident victim approached the successful injury lawyers of Morrison & Wagner in Manhattan, New York with a simple phone call. They helped Marruco submit a premises liability lawsuit against the financial corporation and the realty management company. He demanded restitution for his accident injuries as well as his pain and suffering. The man’s diligent lawyer explained that negligent maintenance had been performed and therefore the defendants had not protected the public from an inevitable electrocution and injury. The defendants agreed to settle the lawsuit by paying the injured man $1,450,000. Here’s another premises liability case that was successfully handled by the winning attorneys of Morrison & Wagner, LLP.

Photo by Kevin.B (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Seat back failures during car crash can cause serious injuries

Research data shows that during a car accident, the back of the driver’s seat can break, causing severe injuries. The worrisome thing noted by experts is that this is true even of cars that meet the most current National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) guidelines. The concern involves not just the driver’s seat but also the seat back of the front passenger, according to specialists. They note that the problem is not limited to any one car manufacturer and is a well-known dangerous condition that has been ignored for way too long. The car seat failure often occurs during a rear-end accident where the vehicle is hit from behind. The force of the crash is transferred into the seat back which then buckles and cracks under the pressure. The person sitting in the seat is then violently thrown and injured, even when wearing a seatbelt. Common injuries can include spinal injury, paralysis and internal bleeding from lacerated organs. Activists familiar with the problem explain that passengers in the rear seat of the vehicle, often little children, are also prone to suffer severe injuries and wounds due to the defect. Children have been known to suffer facial injuries, head injury and even death after being struck by pieces of the seat. Cases have been documented of the headrest breaking off and striking the back seat passenger as well.

Car safety advocates have expressed outrage over the fact that the federal government and car makers haven’t properly fixed the hazard. They insist that the federal regulations must be changed to force factories to reinforce the seats so that they don’t collapse or snap during a high force impact of a motor vehicle collision. Some have pointed out that not doing so may be considered negligence and expose the negligent parties to accident lawsuits. You can read more about the weak federal safety standards and deadly problem here.

Illustrative Photo (Altered to obscure license plate): Joe Shlabotnik [License]

Deadly car accident day after New York City’s Vision Zero plan kicks off

New York – A serious pedestrian accident occurred in Queens only one day after the mayor’s aggressive accident prevention program took effect. The car crash left one victim dead and two others suffering with multiple accident related injuries. Witnesses say that the vehicle jumped the curb and slammed into 3 pedestrians, trapping one man under the car. The man who was pinned under the vehicle had to be extricated by emergency workers while and was pronounced dead soon thereafter. The remaining victims suffered various injuries, including a head injury, possible leg fracture as well as neck and back pain. They were taken from the scene by ambulance with initial treatments for suspected spinal injury. Police were investigating the possibility that the crash was an assault and not actually an accident. Onlookers note that this fatal crash occurred after the start of the new Vision Zero program, which includes recent lowering of speed limits to generally 25 miles per hour, to prevent such accidents.

City safety activists point out that several additional deadly motor vehicle accidents occurred over the next two days, involving crashes in three different boroughs. One of those accidents killed an elderly man in Brooklyn as he tried to cross the street. A second crash caused fatal injuries for another senior citizen who was crossing the street in Queens. Only several hours later a middle-aged woman was hit by a car in the Bronx. Citizens continue to express their concerns regarding the safety of the city streets and demand that the police and administration take the necessary actions to crack down on safety violations. They worry that a dangerous driver must be removed from the roads well before he or she can cause additional injuries or death. Proponents have expressed their hope for the future, as the city continues to promote safety with the new program. However, they say that it will take serious efforts on the part of city lawmakers and police to follow through on their plans. Please see this article for more details about the recent rash of deadly pedestrian accidents.

Illustrative photo by Youngking11 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Dangerous construction accidents in New York investigated

New York – Construction injuries have, unfortunately, become an expected reality in the industry, according to work safety advocates. They say that employers sometimes shirk their responsibilities by not following safety codes and create a hazardous condition for their workers. One hardhat construction worker suffered a fall injury in the World Trade Center site when he fell from a scaffold to the ground, nearly 20 feet below. Witnesses contend that the work accident occurred because the shoring equipment was unstable and no ladder was provided by the construction company. They note that the scaffold tipped over and collapsed, causing the worker to suffer a spinal injury with back pain, fractures and a permanent disability. The man’s injuries also included broken ribs and a head injury according to doctors. Accusations against various construction companies and contractors have since arisen, claiming that employers have tried to cover up accidents and injuries. Workers have reported that bosses have ordered the clean-up of the site of a construction injury in order to hide evidence of negligence. In addition, investigations have shown that employers have been known to avoid reporting workplace accidents, with as many as 34 serious on-the-job injuries going unreported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the federal agency tasked with ensuring work safety. These accidents have been documented to have caused hips fractures, broken bones as well as neck and back injury. Worksite safety activists explain that these employers may have been trying to avoid negligence lawsuits and worker’s compensation injury claims while ignoring the damage they caused to the lives and families of the injured workers. Read details about the investigations into the unreported occupational worker’s comp injuries here.

Illustrative photo by Saberwolf116 at en.wikipedia [CC-BY-3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

Garbage truck accident in Brooklyn causes injuries and death

New York – A car crash involving a BMW versus a garbage truck occurred on Wednesday, according to police. The truck crash apparently began when the driver of the car slammed into the privately owned and operated truck. Emergency services reported that one of the passengers from the car, a man in his twenties, died from massive trauma during the collision. At least 2 other people were injured in the motor vehicle accident, including another passenger and the driver of the car. Those accident injuries have required emergency treatment according to reports. The 2 workers that were in the garbage truck did not require transport to an emergency room but may require evaluation for possible injuries. Trauma doctors note that some injuries from an accident may only become evident hours, days or even weeks after the initial incident. This is why doctors recommend that anyone who is involved in a serious accident with injuries, should be evaluated soon after the crash, even if the injured victim was someone else involved in the incident. They note that if there was enough force to cause injuries to another person in the accident, then there’s a higher likelihood that other people also suffered an injury. This is even more so the case if there was someone killed in the accident. Such injuries can include a spinal injury, internal bleeding or even a broken bone.

While the injured victims are tended to, the police continue to investigate the cause of the truck collision. They have reported that the driver of the car may have been a drunk driver and this may have caused the accident. In fact, the driver had been charged with driving while under the influence (DWI) in the past and there was a warrant out for his arrest. The current DWI charge would bring a more severe penalty in light of the wrongful death in this case. Find out more about the drunk driving accident here.

Illustrative photo by Kevin.B (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Motorcycle accident kills woman in Queens, New York

New York – A car crash involving a car and motorcycle left the female motorcycle driver dead. She was apparently hit by a car as she was crossing through an intersection. The crash victim was thrown from the bike and suffered a serious head injury. Ambulance and paramedic personnel raced to the scene and found the woman with a multiple injuries, including a traumatic brain injury (TBI). They attempted to treat her severe wounds and transported the victim to the closest hospital emergency room. Hospital officials say that the injury victim was treated for the injuries but died despite best medical efforts. Cause of death appears to be the TBI but further investigation was underway. Trauma specialists explain that a motorcycle accident can cause a variety of life threatening injuries besides a TBI, including spinal injury, internal bleeding, broken bones and arterial hemorrhaging. They say that helmets may prevent some head injuries but not in all circumstances. More serious bike accidents often involve a speeding driver, drunk driving and with reckless drivers. Police would need to examine the circumstances of this car versus motorcycle collision in order to determine who was at fault. See this article for more about this fatal New York bike crash.

Ilustrative photo by Werner Vermaak (originally posted to Flickr as Immobilized Patient) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Ambulance accident in Brooklyn, New York leaves multiple injured

New York – An ambulance versus bus accident left several people injured last night. The bus was hit by an ambulance during the evening hours, just as the bus was carrying children home from their school in Borough Park. Records show that the ambulance was responding to an unrelated emergency at the time of the motor vehicle accident. It is still unclear if the fire department ambulance was driving with lights and sirens activated at the time of the crash. Officials say that the paramedic team and another person from the bus suffered serious injuries. Reports from the scene of the collision indicate that several of the children on the bus suffered accident injuries as well. Trauma specialists note that injuries from a bus crash such as this may need evaluation even when they initially appear to be minor. They say that some significant wounds, such as spinal injury or even intracranial bleeding, can appear as only minor bumps and bruises. However, if left untreated, these injuries can leave a trauma victim disabled or can even lead to death. Accident victims are advised to see a doctor or go to the closest hospital emergency room for evaluation of injuries and proper care. More details about this ambulance collision are on hand here.

Illustrative photo by Kevin.B (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons