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$________ Plaintiff workman trips on plank left at construction site - Tears of meniscus and tendons - Sciatica - Inability to continue working construction.

New York County, New York

The plaintiff, 51 years old at the time of the incident, was employed as a laborer during the construction of the Time Warner/AOL building at 10 Columbus Centre in Manhattan. While exiting the building at the end of his shift the plaintiff stepped on wooden planks that were laid on irregular ground in the area of a loading dock. The planks collapsed and plaintiff’s leg fell through the opening, up to his calf.

The plaintiff claimed that defendants violated the Labor Law by failing to guard an opening with a substantial cover fastened in place, by failing to provide the plaintiff with safe footing, by failing to keep a work area free from scattered materials and by failing to provide sufficient lighting for safe working conditions. The defendants claimed that the work site was safe, the occurrence did not fit the requirements of the plaintiff’s claimed Labor Law violations, that they did not create the condition complained of and were not given notice of the specific condition prior to the plaintiff’s accident.

The plaintiff maintained that he suffered a complex tear of posterior horn of the medial meniscus of the left knee requiring an arthroscopy, posterior left tibial tendon insufficiency and sciatica.

The plaintiff never returned to work as a laborer but became a pastor with negligible earnings in a community-based religious program. The plaintiff’s treating orthopedist testified that the plaintiff’s injuries were permanent and related to the accident. This expert testified that the plaintiff was unable to return to heavy-duty construction work. The plaintiff’s vocation rehabilitation specialist testified that the plaintiff was unskilled, had limited education, had limited ability to sit or stand for prolonged periods and was not realistically employable in the competitive labor market.

The defendants’ expert orthopedist testified that the plaintiff’s knee injury was related to the occurrence but was not disabling. The defendants’ expert maintained that the plaintiff’s posterior tendon insufficiency was not related to the accident, but caused by prior repetitive ankle sprains. The defendants’ radiologist testified that the plaintiff’s MRI showed that plaintiff’s ankle symptoms were mild at best. The defendants’ vocational rehabilitation specialist testified that plaintiff could return to full-time work in a sedentary capacity and could earn $________- ________ annually.

The jury found the defendant ________% negligent and awarded $________, including $________ for past pain and suffering, $________ for future pain and suffering, $________ for past medical expenses, $ ________ for future medical expenses, $________ for past loss of earnings and $ ________ for future loss of earning.

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