2 Brothers in a Construction Accident - $3,200,000 Settlement

Brief Result Summary | Construction Accident Case Results | Mainetti Mainetti & O'Connor

Date of Settlement: August 13, 2014

Case Facts: A recent construction accident case was resolved in Supreme Court, Ulster County involving two brothers who were seriously injured, when a wall collapsed toppling the scissor lift which they were working on to the ground. The brothers fell approximately 20 feet to the floor from the elevated platform of the lift. The wall collapse was caused by the failure to attach brackets from specific wall panels to supporting building columns and critically a wall panel was removed which formed the corner and right angle intersection of two walls. This left a free standing straight wall not connected or supported by a right angle corner which collapsed. The removal of the corner wall panel as well as failure to provide the brackets attaching the wall panels to supporting columns caused the wall to fall striking the scissor lift and toppling it over.

Both brothers sustained very serious injuries. The younger brother healed unexpectedly well enabling him to, unbelievably, return to his construction job after approximately six months. Unfortunately, the older sibling will not be able to return to construction ever again.

The younger brother sustained a vertebral fracture and was hospitalized for almost two weeks, but underwent no surgeries.

The older brother sustained fractures to his spine and sacrum, requiring spinal fusion and internal fixations as well as multiple other injuries requiring hospitalization and rehabilitation for approximately two months.

The case was brought under Section 240 of the Labor Law which requires that workers be provided a safe place to work.

There was no defect in the scissor lift itself. The collapse of the lift was not the fault of any design problem, or its operation by plaintiffs. However, the scissor lift was improperly placed at the direction of defendants adjacent to the 14 foot high unbraced wall in a position allowing it to be struck when the wall fell causing its collapse.

The case was settled just prior to trial for the sum of $3,200,000.00. The younger brother, represented by Joseph E. O’Connor, receiving $500,000.00 and the older brother, represented by Alfred B. Mainetti, receiving $2,700,000.00. Joe O’Connor and Al Mainetti are partners in the firm Mainetti, Mainetti & O’Connor, P.C.

Awarded: $3,200,000

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