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ARTICLE ID 190445

$________ – CONSTRUCTION SITE NEGLIGENCE – FAILURE TO PROVIDE WORK PLATFORM DURING DEMOLITION WORK – PLAINTIFF FALLS EIGHT FEET FROM EXTENSION LADDER – MULTIPLE FRACTURES TO BOTH LEGS – BILATERAL COMPARTMENT SYNDROME – FASCIOTOMIES – RIGHT-SIDED ABOVE-THE-KNEE AMPUTATION.

Bergen County, NJ

The plaintiff, working on a demolition project, contended that the defendants, general contractor and subcontractor, failed to adhere to demolition standards by providing a scaffold, scissor lift, cherry picker or similar device. The plaintiff contended that he was engaged in attempting to remove a welded steel beam from the roof by swinging a sledge hammer from one side and that after he struck the beam, a co-worker on the other side would also strike it with a sledge hammer. The plaintiff contended that the other worker swung at the beam unexpectedly as he completed a swing, and that he fell from the extension ladder from which he was working, landing on both feet. The plaintiff was working eight feet off the ground and the height was not sufficient to invoke OSHA regulations. The plaintiff’s safety expert contended that demolition standards required the use a work platform or other safety device and that having the plaintiff work from the ladder was a violation of such standards. The plaintiff had also named the employer as a defendant under the Laidlaw line of cases. This aspect was dismissed. The defendant pointed out that there was no evidence of an OSHA violation.

The plaintiff maintained that the standard was enunciated in demolition manuals. The plaintiff would have also argued that had the defendant’s supplied the appropriate equipment, the danger would have been virtually eliminated. The defendants maintained that the plaintiff knew or should have known about the potential danger and should have requested a cherry picker or similar device, contending that such a device was available. The plaintiff would have countered that he was realistically concerned that he would have been thrown off the job if he had made demands for additional equipment. The plaintiff maintained that he had been the sole bread winner for his family and in view of the economic necessity to work, his concerns were very understandable.

The plaintiff landed on both feet, attempted to walk, but could not do so because of multiple fractures. The plaintiff’s injuries involved injury to blood vessels on one side. The plaintiff also suffered compartment syndrome in both legs and underwent bilateral fasciotomies. The plaintiff maintained that because of continuing complications of the right leg, he ultimately opted to undergo an above-the-knee amputation of this leg. The plaintiff also contended that the pain and swelling in the left leg is permanent.

The plaintiff maintained that using a prosthetic device for the amputation will not allow him to walk, and that he will be permanently confined to a wheelchair. The plaintiff maintained engaging in everyday activities very painful and difficult. The defendant argued that the plaintiff’s failure to quit smoking as recommended contributed to the difficulties in healing that led to the amputation.The case settled prior to trial for $________ including $________ from the general contractor and $________ from the subcontractor.

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