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Tag Archives: back injury

Limousine crash kills passengers and pedestrians in New York

New York – The driver of a limo that ran through a stop sign is being blamed for the deadly car accident. However, the limousine company is also being investigated for possibly operating unsafe vehicles that may have contributed to the motor vehicle collision. Reports show that the car was speeding about 60 miles per hour when it didn’t stop at a stop sign and crossed straight through the intersection. It then slammed into a parked vehicle as well as several pedestrians in a parking lot. The pedestrian accident killed two of the pedestrian victims who were apparently shopping nearby. In addition, the car crash killed the driver of the limo and all of the 17 passengers in the rear of the vehicle. Unfortunately, none of the passengers in the vehicle were wearing seat belts during the impact. This left a total of 20 accident victims killed in the horrific collision.

Witnesses to the crash noted that it appeared the vehicle’s brakes may have failed. In fact, this is consistent with the fact that the limo company had racked up extensive safety violations, including negligent maintenance issues. At least one of their vehicles failed for not having properly working brakes in the recent past. Family and friends explain that at least one of the passengers in the limo messaged someone prior to the crash about the poor mechanical condition of the car. Investigators noted that the driver of the limo involved in the fatal accident did not have the proper driver’s license for the type of vehicle that he was driving. In addition, it has been noted that the very same driver was involved in a similar accident after he blew through a stop sign about three years ago. In that prior collision, one of the cars rolled over after being hit. Several people were injured at that time, including one with a head injury and another with a back injury. Find out more about these limo accidents here.

Illustrative Photo Credit: by Werner Vermaak (originally posted to Flickr as Immobilized Patient) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Construction work accident in Queens leaves 6 injured workers

New York – A scaffolding collapse in the middle of a construction site in Long Island City, Queens caused mayhem this week. Six workers were injured during the construction accident and were rushed to the emergency room. Hospital officials confirmed that the accident victims suffered a back injury, possible broken bones and arm and leg injuries. Reports note that the workers were pouring concrete into wooden forms to create a floor when it collapsed. Concerned safety advocates explain that the owner and developer of the building may have been negligent in the management of the project. They note that the New York City’s buildings department placed an emergency stop order on the construction when they noticed several dangerous safety violations. It has been pointed out that the same work site has a history of multiple complaints filed with the Department of Buildings since the new owner took it over in 2015. More research will be needed to determine if, in fact, the developer had created a hazardous situation that placed the safety of his employees and the public at risk for injury. Employers are responsible to obtain worker’s compensation insurance in order to deal with these types of work accidents. However, this doesn’t absolve them of their duty to prevent accidents and avoid negligence. More details about this building collapse accident can be found here.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Photo Credit: Phillip Pessar [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.