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ARTICLE ID 50487

$________ Construction accident at site of renovation of single family home - General contractor negligently creates opening in attic floor for placement of stairway without placing warnings - Plaintiff insulation subcontractor falls approximately 20 feet through thin portion of second story ceiling which could not support weight placed in opening - Severe separation of dominant shoulder - Internal derangement to both knees - Psychiatric reaction - Alleged inability to work.

Morris County

The 45-year-old male plaintiff insulation subcontractor maintained that he was working at the site of an expansion of a single family home which included the creation of a staircase into the attic. The plaintiff contended that the defendant general contractor negligently failed to provide warnings that he had created an opening in the attic floor for the planned placement of a stairway and that the opening was covered by only a very thin and unsupported portion of the second story ceiling. The plaintiff contended that as a result, he fell through the sheetrock covering the opening and landed approximately 20 feet below on the first floor.

The evidence revealed that the family continued to reside in the home and that the ceiling was kept in place during the construction to protect against the elements. The plaintiff contended that he believed the area of the opening was covered with plywood, that such belief was especially reasonable since it was very dark in the area and the plaintiff maintained that the general contractor should have provided warnings. The defendant contended that the plaintiff was a professional and should been aware of the hazard and placed plywood himself before beginning to install insulation.

The plaintiff maintained that he suffered a severe separation of his dominant shoulder as well as internal derangements of both knees. The plaintiff required two arthroscopic interventions to the shoulder and one arthroscopic surgery to each knee. The plaintiff also maintained that he suffered PTSD that has caused him to suffer anxiety, depression, nightmares and flashbacks of the event. The plaintiff’s psychiatrist would have offered a guarded prognosis.

The plaintiff contended that as a result of the physical and emotional injuries suffered in the fall as well as his inability to speak English, he is, as a practical matter, permanently unemployable. The defendant maintained that the injuries have resolved and that the plaintiff can return to work.

The case settled prior to trial for $________.

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