Our office is pleased to announce that we obtained a $8,500,000.00 settlement on behalf of a Staten Island sanitation worker who was injured while on his route. The accident occurred when the plaintiff was performing his duties as a sanitation worker, walking from one home to the next in Staten Island, New York, when the ground surrounding a metal plate on the sidewalk collapsed. As a result, the plaintiff’s right leg fell into a trench under the plate. Our investigation revealed that six days before the accident, the defendants, National Grid NY and Hallen Construction Co., Inc., performed an excavation on the sidewalk and dug a ten foot by five foot hole as part of a gas main replacement project in the area. The project was not completed after this excavation and the trench was not backfilled, so the defendants covered the hole with a steel plate.
We alleged that the defendants did not install the plate a sufficient distance beyond the excavated area, did not put any barriers or warnings and failed to inspect the work area in the six day period prior to the incident even though there was significant precipitation during that time. We also argued that the area surrounding the plate eroded and that the trench was not shored in accordance with industry standards. The defendants countered that they had sufficiently covered the hole and that the excavation was performed properly. They claimed that it was an active work site and the plaintiff should have been more careful.
On December 11, 2018, Justice Pamela L. Fisher of the Supreme Court – Kings County granted the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability, but left open the question as to whether the plaintiff was comparatively negligent.
The plaintiff claimed that he sustained serious injuries to his head, spine, left shoulder, left elbow, right knee, right ankle, and abdomen, which required ten surgeries to date. As a result of a traumatic brain injury he sustained, the plaintiff suffered from post-traumatic anxiety, depression, and cognitive disorders. He was also treated for pain management since the incident and we alleged that he will require future medication, medical treatment, home care, and medical supplies for the remainder of his life.
We contended that the plaintiff had sustained lost earnings and other special damages, including the need for future medical care. We also asserted a claim for loss of services for the plaintiff’s wife.
In order to obtain the settlement, we left no stone unturned, thoroughly investigating the incident and working with the best experts to establish our claims. The case was settled by the firm’s partners, Louis Grandelli and Leigh Eskenasi, prior to jury selection.