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Tag Archives: work injury

Increased construction injuries and deaths in New York City

New York – Construction accidents with injuries or deaths are on the rise according to statistics released by city officials. The Building Department says that there have been more reported deaths from construction accidents when comparing the current year of 2018 with reports from last year. Public safety experts blame the spike on the increased amount of building construction and renovations. Some have pointed out that the city safety inspectors haven’t been keeping up with the necessary inspections to ensure safety of workers and the public. Others believe that contractors and builders have taken advantage of the commonplace construction environment and have become lax about following safety guidelines. Workers sometimes complain about dangerous work conditions, including improper or lack of safety devices such as helmets, railings and harnesses. Even when equipment is available, workmen have noted negligent maintenance or lack of training provided to hardhats. They worry that profits make be a more important factor for employers than the safety of workers or the public. This situation can lead to a widespread hazardous condition and can easily contribute to a work injury or even wrongful death. Accidents include building collapse, falling debris, bone fractures and trip and fall accidents. See this article to understand more about the increased accidents.

Image for illustrative purposes only. Photo Credit: Pete Jelliffe [License]

Preventing a work injury and knowing your rights if you are injured at work

New York – Work accidents are common but often avoidable, according to a New York City worker’s compensation injury lawyer. However, many employees and employers alike are unaware of how to go about preventing accidents, injuries and death in the workplace. There are several areas of responsibility that are shared between employer and worker to ensure safety while on the job. These include work-sponsored trainings that involve both formal and informal instruction on how to use equipment and avoid injury in all necessary settings. Also included is the responsibility of the boss and managers to provide safety equipment, such as helmets, secure scaffolding, rigging, harnesses, gloves, eye goggles, ear protection and the like. They are required to make sure that the equipment is not only available but also not broken and with proper instructions. Unfortunately there is sometimes employer negligence when it comes to these necessary safety points, which can lead to an unsafe work environment and even a hazardous situation. Negligent maintenance of equipment is an easily overlooked danger when employers and managers place heavy pressure of deadlines and productivity on their workers. However, a major concern also exists for jobs that involve repetitive motions, slip and fall hazards, overexertion and falling from a height. There are things that employees can do to protect themselves and prevent accidents but some employers try to shift the burden of safety entirely to the worker. This is a concern and should be discussed with a work injury lawyer.

Beyond work accident prevention, work staff should become familiar with their responsibilities and rights if they’re injured on the job. This can include immediate notification of the supervisor or boss of the injury, calling an ambulance, going for emergency or immediate medical treatment, if needed and filing all necessary paperwork about the accident and injury. Employers are usually required to maintain a worker’s comp insurance policy to pay for medical treatment of the injury. The worker also has the right to speak to an accident lawyer that specializes in workman’s compensation injuries for assistance. An experienced law firm can assist with obtaining insurance benefits, hospital, doctor and treatment coverage as well as filing a worker’s comp lawsuit, if necessary. This informative article can explain more.

Illustrative Photo Credit: Bill Jacobus [License]

$375,000 Labor Law Settlement -- Work Injury When Construction Worker Falls Off Ladder

New York — This 51-year-old construction accident victim suffered leg fractures and other personal injuries while at work. The work injury occurred when the worker fell from a ladder. With the assistance of the labor law and injury specialists at Morrison & Wagner, the injured worker received a settlement of $375,000 from the defendant.

Illustrative Photo Credit: Jay Gorman [License]

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Labor law – fall from ladder – summary judgment on liability – tibia and fibula fractures with surgery (VerdictSearch)

Settlement Amount: $375,000

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Court: New York Supreme, New York County, New York

Case Type: Construction – Labor Law, Scaffolds and Ladders

Date: March 5, 1999

Plaintiff Attorney(s):
Stuart Wagner; Morrison & Wagner

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Facts:

The plaintiff, a 51-year-old laborer fell from a ladder on 1/11/95 while performing construction in Manhattan. The defendants owned and managed the building. The plaintiff was granted summary judgment against the defendant, pursuant to Labor Law § 240(1), and the defendant was granted summary judgment against Third-party defendant.

Injury:

Comminuted and impacted tibial fracture with lateral displacement; transverse fracture of the fibular shaft. The plaintiff underwent open reduction and internal fixation, external fixation, and a bone graft to the fibular fracture from the iliac bone crest.

Result:

This Labor Law action settled after jury selection for $375,000, plus the waiver of a $60,000 Workers’ Compensation lien.

Demonstrative evidence: Pltf. would have introduced photographs of injury; X-rays.

$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.

$990,000 Worker’s Compensation Settlement – Electrician injured hip and pelvis on the job

Mr. Sabet, an electrician in New York City, worked for a contractor when he suffered an injury to his hip and pelvis. His on- the job injury required two orthopedic surgeries and extensive physical therapy. Despite his medical care, Mr. Sabet contended that he was left with physical disabilities that would prevent him from returning to work as an electrician.

He consulted with the well-known worker’s comp lawyers at Morrison & Wagner LLP, an injury law firm in New York City, with a successful history of recovering money for work accident victims. With their help, Sabet filed an injury lawsuit against his employer, demanding compensation for damages, pain and suffering.

Details of the worker’s injuries, his pain and suffering as well as past and projected future expenses — due to the injury — were submitted by experts, as part of a life care plan. Morrison & Wagner contended that due to the injuries, the disabled worker would be restricted in his available lines of work, required re-training to adapt to new lines of work, and would not be able to return to his professional career.

Morrison & Wagner LLP succesfully resolved the work injury claim. The employer settled the case and agreed to pay $990,000 to the NY work injury victim.

Have you been injured at work? Tell us about it – it’s a free consultation!

Photo by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service – Pacific Region’s [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Multiple workers injured by construction accident in Manhattan

New York – Four demolition workmen suffered varying degrees of injuries during a work accident at the construction site where they were employed. Accounts from witnesses at the scene explain that the laborers were working on internal demolition in the building that had been undergoing extensive renovations. Heavy debris, possibly a section of a metal railing, came crashing down onto the workers, causing crush injuries. However, reports show that the men may have also suffered fall injuries after the construction debris knocked them down. Some reports noted that there was a partial building collapse that caused the accident. A large rescue force quickly arrived at the accident scene and extricated the four wounded victims, taking them to the emergency room for urgent treatment.

Investigations into the cause of the work accident are ongoing, with New York City building safety officials and OSHA investigators looking into the facts that led to the incident. Suspicions of unsafe work conditions have arisen due the history of the buildings department having shut down the very same worksite several times. Records show that the construction site had been deemed dangerous in those previous incidents but that no work injury had been reported prior to this. A statement from the owner of the building explained that there was, in fact, no building collapse and that a licensed construction site safety manager working there at the time of the accident. Find out more about this demolition accident and injured workers here.

Illustrative photo Credit: Luigi Rosa [License]

Heavy glass window falls, injures 3 in Manhattan construction accident

New York – A workman and two pedestrians were injured on a Midtown Manhattan sidewalk this past Thursday. The wounded victims were hit by large broken pieces of a glass window that crashed down from an office building above. According to investigators, it all started with a construction accident inside the building that was undergoing renovation work at the time. Workers were hard at work when either a piece of machinery or scaffolding apparently crashed into the window, cracking it and sending heavy chunks of glass slamming onto the sidewalk below. One of the injury victims was a worker who was taken to the hospital for treatment of an unknown leg injury. At least one of the injured bystanders had suffered a head injury according to witnesses of the pedestrian accident. She was also taken by ambulance to the trauma department of a nearby emergency room for emergency treatment.
Public safety advocates have explained that the accident requires further investigation to determine if all necessary precautions were taken by the construction company to ensure the safety of the area. This includes worker safety to prevent a work injury as well as an accident that endangers the health and lives of bystanders. Officials say that laws and regulations are in place to prevent injuries and deaths from these types of preventable accidents. However, some have complained that workers and employers take dangerous shortcuts all too often, leaving innocent civilians at risk for serious injuries or wrongful death. Some activists report that particular construction bosses and workers have been guilty of outright negligence that led to an accident. It usually falls upon the buildings department and agencies such as OSHA to monitor worksites and prevent these types of accidents. See more about this construction injury here.

Photo by Borofkin (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Construction scaffolding accident kills man in Manhattan

New York – A construction worker slipped and fell at a work site in the Midtown section of Manhattan. The victim died upon impact during the slip and fall accident after plummeting down approximately 13 stories. Work injury specialists have been in an uproar about the fatality due to multiple safety violations at the site. Investigations continue but witnesses have reported that the workman was not wearing a required safety harness while working on the scaffolding. Some also believe that the machinery and equipment were not properly secured and there were improper railings to protect the employees. Hardhat safety advocates warn that employers must make sure that all laws are followed, and not just during times of inspection by OSHA or the building department of the city. Construction accidents have high potential for more serious injuries and deaths according to experts and they note that negligence plays a big role in it. Many injured workers find it necessary to contact a worker’s comp lawyer in order to determine their rights and benefits. Employers and their workman’s compensation insurance companies are often responsible to pay not only for the medical bills but also for short- and long-term disability of the victim. However, a lawsuit case sometimes needs to be filed on behalf of an injured or sick worker due to disagreements regarding responsibility and employer neglect or carelessness. For more about the fall victim from the scaffold accident in New York City, check out this article.

Illustrative photo by Uploader. (Self-photographed) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Government may require companies to disclose workplace injury and illness info

The federal government’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is currently trying to force large employers to report work-associated illnesses and on-the-job injuries in a new format. This would include digital reporting of the work accidents and diseases so that the information can be published online. Mandatory reporting of occupational injuries and illnesses is not new, rather it’s the goal of publicly posting this information on the internet that is new. At this time, only employers with more than 250 workers would be required to comply with this new safety campaign. Experienced workers comp lawyers in New York applaud this proposal, saying that it can provide employees with the essential knowledge of their boss’ safety record. This empowers the worker to demand better safety compliance and the possibility of protecting themselves from hazardous conditions at work. Some employees or even the general public may even choose to avoid working with a company with an extensive list of workplace accidents. Consumers may also discover that their own safety may be at risk when hiring a company prone to injuries or illness. The accident database could provide the average citizen and worker with the details they need and deserve to know, in order to protect themselves from corporations that sometimes are negligent when it comes to safety regulations. Job accidents can vary from a worker that falls from scaffolding or a ladder to a machine operator who’s hand gets crushed in the machine. Job-associated illnesses can include lung diseases such as asthma, COPD or pulmonary edema; cancers, like squamous cell carcinoma; musculoskeletal problems, such as carpal tunnel syndrome; and chemical exposure at work, such as lead or gasses. This type of required reporting and posting of work-related illness and injury is also expected to prevent dangerous companies from denying a problem. Accountability and safety are expected to improve, according to public safety activists. See this article for more about the proposed injury and illness database.

Photo by U.S. Navy [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Doctors advance research on long-term effects of brain injury

Continuing research in the area of brain injuries has allowed doctors to better understand the long-term problems that an accident victim may face. Brain injuries are well-known to cause many kinds of problems for their victims depending on the type and severity of the injury. Severe brain damage can leave the person unconscious in a coma or vegetative state, unable to breath and can eventually lead to death. Moderate injury to the brain can cause post-traumatic seizures, difficulties speaking, hearing or seeing and can cause serious difficulties with physical functioning of the victim’s body. More mild brain injury can cause memory problems, personality changes, headaches and dizziness. Researchers now understand that personality changes are a significant problem that can affect the person for many years, especially if it is not recognized and treated properly by specialists. Depression, anxiety, impulsiveness and lack of ability to focus can all be manifestations of the changes an injury victim can go through. Children who suffer a mild brain injury or concussion can develop cognitive problems, psychological issues and subsequent difficulty learning. These children may also develop problems functioning in school and with friends.

Neurologists explain that the cause of brain damage can vary from an accident or head injury to lack of oxygen to the brain and can even be caused by chemicals or medications. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the term often used when the victim was involved in some sort of head trauma such as a car accident, work injury or blast injury. Some people refer to a mild TBI as a concussion where the person may lose consciousness briefly or suffer with dizziness or vomiting shortly after the accident or crash. Current research continues to work toward understanding the effects of this head trauma for both adults and children later in life. Read more on what you should know about brain injuries here.

Photo by U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael C. Barton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons