May 11, 2023

$4,000,000 — Labor Law 241(6) – Trip and Fall – Construction Debris – Ankle and Back Injuries

Plaintiff, a 34-year-old laborer, was stripping concrete forms and placing them in piles when he tripped and fell on construction debris, more specifically, a discarded piece or rebar. As a result of the fall, plaintiff severely twisted his ankle and went home. Several days later, plaintiff presented to the emergency room and learned that he sustained a fibular fracture with sydesmotic disruption and underwent open reduction internal fixation surgery. Plaintiff eventually underwent two additional surgeries to remove painful hardware. As a result of an antalgic gait from walking with a boot cast, crutches, and a single point cane, as well as developing a limp, plaintiff began to suffer from low back pain. Following a course of conservative treatment, plaintiff underwent back surgery. Plaintiff was unable to return to work as a laborer.

Defendants denied that plaintiff tripped and fell on construction debris at the worksite. In the alternative, defendants claimed plaintiff should have seen the construction debris on the floor and been more careful. While the defendants did not dispute plaintiff sustained a fibular fracture and syndesmotic disruption, defendant claimed plaintiff made a full recovery and could return to work with no restrictions or limitations. In addition, defendants claimed that plaintiff’s low back injury was unrelated to his accident and was the result of preexisting arthritis.

Judd F. Kleeger, Partner, settled this matter during jury selection for $4,000,000.