On May 25, 2018, a Kings County jury awarded $15,228,000 to a concrete laborer who was injured on a construction site in December, 2014. The plaintiff, then age 50, was erecting exterior walls for a new building. An unsecured plank fell from a scaffold and struck the plaintiff which knocked him off the scaffold onto the ground. It was claimed that the owner and general contractor failed to provide safety railings, toe-boards and lifelines, all in violation of the New York State Labor Law and Industrial Code.
The concrete laborer suffered lifetime disabling injuries to his lumbar and cervical spine requiring two multi-level spinal surgeries involving laminectomies and fusions using plates and screws to stabilize the spine. The jury awarded $2,128,000 for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering over the last 3.5 years. The future damages award, to provide for plaintiff's next 22 years of life was itemized: $10,000,000 for pain and suffering; $1,100,000 for custodial care; $500,000 for medical expenses. The jury also found that if the accident had not happened the plaintiff would have worked another 8 years (to age 62) and awarded him $1,500,000 for future lost wages. Dias v Blue Sea Construction & New York City Housing Authority, Judge Rivera, Sup Ct Kings County, 505822/2015