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New York Personal Injury Attorneys

SPBMCC Partner Eric Schwarz Obtains Settlement For Victim in Labor Law Accident

August 6, 2021 in

On June 2, 2021, SPBMCC Partner Eric Schwarz obtained a $625,000 settlement on behalf of a labor foreman who was injured on the job at a five-story school building. 


Labor Foreman Falls Into Unguarded Grease Pit While on the Job


At the time of the incident, the plaintiff was a 53-year-old, married labor foreman. He was working on a construction project involving the development of a new, five-story school building and was assessing a grease pit for debris and water collection.


The pit was approximately 4×5 feet and 5-to-8 feet deep. Pipes fed into the grease pit about halfway through and it was covered by a piece of plywood that was framed by 2x4s weighing approximately 25-30 pounds. The pit did not have a safety barrier, nor was it secured by hinges or an access door on the cover.


In order for the plaintiff to assess the grease pit, he was required to remove the plywood cover. He lifted the cover with both hands to chest level. When the cover was removed the pit was an unguarded, hazardous opening that presented an elevation and gravity-related hazard. 


When the plaintiff lifted the cover, it shifted, causing it to fall onto his right ankle. The plaintiff lost his balance and fell into the pit. During the fall, his right foot and ankle struck the pipes inside the grease pit. The plaintiff was fortunate enough to grab onto the side of the pit to avoid falling to the bottom. He suffered a spiral fracture of his distal right fibula as well as torn ligaments in his right ankle that required multiple surgical procedures. Although the plaintiff returned to work 16 months following the incident, he continued to suffer from pain due to extended periods of walking and standing. He also continued to experience difficulty walking on uneven surfaces.


The Defendant’s Failure to Provide Adequate Safety Measures Led to the Accident


The failure to provide the plaintiff with a safety device, as well as the failure to erect a safety barrier or railing system around the hazardous opening, exposed the plaintiff to the hazardous conditions that caused his accident and injuries. The plaintiff’s accident could have been avoided if a safety device was provided or if the hazardous opening had been secured. 


Partner Eric Schwarz Obtained $625,000 Settlement to Cover the Plaintiff’s Medical Expenses and Other Losses


The hazardous conditions that were created were pursuant to the Industrial Code, and were required to be guarded by a substantial cover fastened in place or by a safety barrier or railing.


The defendants’ argument to the Labor Law claims declared that the plaintiff was at fault because he should have slid the cover off of the pit instead of lifting it. Firm Partner Eric Schwarz represented the plaintiff in his case and argued that the defendant’s case was invalid. Schwarz was successful in obtaining a $625,000 settlement that would relieve the plaintiff’s medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses. 


Learn More About SPBMCC Partner Eric Schwarz


Firm Partner Eric Schwarz has been with the firm throughout his entire legal career. He has earned himself a distinguished reputation litigating medical malpractice and general negligence cases. He primarily focuses in the areas of medical malpractice, personal injury and product liability. To learn more about Eric Schwarz and other cases he has litigated, click here.

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