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New York's Top 5 Construction Accident Verdicts & Settlements

Injured in a construction accident?

You probably have a lot on your mind. Every serious injury comes with a long list of new challenges. Beyond doctor's appointments, medical expenses, missed days at work, and physical pain, you may also be considering a personal injury lawsuit.

And if you are, you're probably trying to value your case. There's no easy way to answer the question of whether or not your injuries and suffering are serious enough to warrant legal action.

For a real response, you'll have to consult a New York welding accident attorneys


5 Biggest Construction Awards In New York: 2013

But one of the ways you can begin thinking about the value of your own case is by reviewing similar lawsuits in your area. With that in mind, here's a countdown of some blockbuster personal injury decisions awarded recently in New York.

1. Asbestos Exposure Led To Mesothelioma

According to the National Institutes of Health, at least 11 million Americans were exposed to asbestos between the years of 1940 and 1978. As we now know, asbestos exposure is the primary cause of particularly aggressive lung cancer called mesothelioma.

While the US Consumer Product Safety Commission has placed strict limits on the amount of asbestos that can lawfully be used in industrial practices, millions of Americans are exposed every year. And mesothelioma, which results in death in all but the rarest cases, can take up to 50 years to present symptoms.

In a case decided on July 23, 2013, five tradesmen were awarded $190 million in damages by New York's Supreme Court. The men had all worked in contact with water heaters manufactured by A.O. Smith Water Products, a company that had failed to warn consumers that its heaters contained unhealthy amounts of asbestos.

The company was again found liable, this time for $35 million in damages, in a separate lawsuit the same year.

2. Fall From Defective Ladder Caused Brain Damage

We've spoken at length about New York's Labor Law 240(1), and the sweeping legal protections it provides construction workers. In most cases, workers who are injured in falls from height are eligible to pursue compensation from negligent employers. New York is the only state to have such a law; in all other states, laborers are categorically prohibited from suing their companies.

In the case Mouta v. Essex Market Development LLC decided on April 19th in the Bronx's Supreme Court, workers throughout New York State received a resounding confirmation that their rights matter.

Domingos Mouta, a worker on a job site in Brooklyn, fell two stories from a scaffold that, unbeknownst to him, was being dismantled. In court, his attorneys were able to prove that the project's property owner should be held liable for Mouta's injuries, which included severe brain damage. Mouta had not been provided with any of the Federally-mandated safety devices that could have spared him the trauma.

Mouta was awarded just under $12 million in damages.

3. Crushed Foot Ended Carpenter's Career

In 2010, carpenter Stephen Kempisty was crossing a job site when a four-ton steel block fell suddenly on his foot. Kempisty's foot was crushed, and his career cut short.

In court, Kempisty's attorneys argued that his accident fell under New York's "Ladder and Scaffold" Law because it involved a material hoisted above the ground, and they proved that the steel block had been insufficiently secured.

After three long years of fighting, Kempisty was awarded just under $8 million.

4. Two - Story Fall Led To Considerable Pain & Suffering

Steelworker Zhongxin Li was framing a construction project twenty feet off the ground when he slipped on a wet beam and plummeted to earth.

In his case, Li alleged that the site's owner, along with the project's general contractor and his own company, had failed to provide workers with adequate safety railings and fall-protection devices.

On August 9, 2013, the jury awarded Li $6.475 million. Notably, these damages were entirely for "pain and suffering," a category that includes intangible losses like physical pain and mental anguish. Li received $1 million for past hardship and $5.475 million for future pain and suffering.

5. Traumatic Brain Injury Caused By Falling Pipe

On February 11, 2008, Alejandro Alpirez suffered a truly catastrophic injury. While performing demolition work, Alpirez was struck from above by a falling metal pipe that had not been properly secured. As a result, he then fell from the scaffold he had been standing on, landing on his head.

Mr. Alpirez lost the sight in one eye and suffered severe cognitive impairment as a result of a Traumatic Brain Injury.

More than five years later, Mr. Alpirez's lawsuit finally reached its successful conclusion. In the end, three separate defendants settled the case for a total of $11.5 million.

Contact A New York Construction Accident Lawyer

If you were injured in a workplace accident, consider contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer. As we've seen, New York's workers regularly hold negligent parties accountable for a wide variety of injurious incidents.

While no one can value your case without a thorough investigation, the construction injury attorneys at Banville Law offer a free, no obligation consultation. Just call our lawyers today and describe your situation. We'll explain your legal options in clear, everyday language and let you know if we can help.

Read more on similar accident reports here:

Laurence P. Banville
Date Published: February 18, 2015
Laurence P. Banville is the managing partner of Banville Law. As an experienced personal injury attorney, Mr. Banville helps clients recover compensation from those responsible for his clients' injuries. Our firm is located in New York City, serving clients from the five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.
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