57 Year Old Female Construction Worker Awarded $2.3M For Spinal/Shoulder Injuries-Upheld On Appeal

On February 2, 2024, a New York intermediate appellate court upheld an Erie County jury verdict of approximately $2,300,000 to a female construction worker who was struck by an unsecured "32-foot-long extension ladder that had been leaning against a wall fell, hitting her on the head and left shoulder." The plaintiff claimed that "the ladder fell as a result of the ground vibrations created by heavy demolition debris falling in the vicinity of the ladder." Liability was found in favor of the plaintiff on a pre-trial motion when it was determined that the defendants violated a worker safety law - Labor Law Section 240 (1). The defendant's unsuccessfully argued that the plaintiff was the sole proximate cause of the accident offering rank speculation that plaintiff may have bumped into the ladder with a wheelbarrow, knocking the ladder down.

The case proceeded to a jury trial on damages only and the jury awarded $2.3M of which the defense challenged only the following components: $1,250,000 for future pain and suffering over the next 28 years and future lost earnings of $356,150 over five years. The appellate court found that plaintiff had proven the injuries to her "cervical spine and left rotator cuff and had headaches, chronic neck pain, weakness and numbness in her left arm and loss of range of motion in her neck and arm." The appellate court emphasized that plaintiff already had endured extensive surgery to three levels of her cervical spine, would require similar surgery to another level of her cervical spine and a shoulder surgery to repair a labral tear. As such the jury's award was sustained as reasonable. Vasquez v Gilbane Bldg. Co., 2024 N.Y. Slip Op.00519

Ronald C. Burke, Esq

Trial Attorney with 30+ Years of Experience Attorney Ronald C. Burke, Esq. has more than 30 years of experience and has focused his career on representing clients in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice and legal malpractice. He is a seasoned trial lawyer and has won many seven-figure settlements and verdicts for his clients over the years, including many case victories listed among the largest in the history of the New York State. He has been featured in the news and is a regular lecturer for the New York County Lawyers Association, as well as having lectured before the New York State Bar Association. Ron is also an attorney with Kelner & Kelner, a New York personal injury law firm. Awards and Accolades Mr. Burke's awards and accolades are many. Among them, he has been included in New York Super Lawyers® each year since 2010, and he has received the highest-possible AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. Verdict Search, a part of the New York Law Journal, frequently recognizes his notable successes after winning some of the highest settlements and verdicts in past years. He was also featured in their list of the "Top New York Verdicts " and "Top New York Settlements." He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as before the United States Supreme Court. When Attorney Burke is not handling legal malpractice cases, he is highly involved in the local community. He was a member of the Village of Rockville Centre Volunteer Fire Department, has served on the local school board and as Chairman of the local Zoning Board. Learn more about Attorney Burke and how he can skillfully handle your malpractice case by contacting the Law Offices of Ronald C. Burke, Esq. right away to schedule your complimentary case evaluation. Our firm is here to help! Contact a New York Legal Malpractice Attorney Our firm provides each client's case with thorough preparation and aggressive representation, ensuring that you win the best possible results for your case whether it is settled or goes to trial. As a seasoned trial lawyer, Mr. Burke can provide the strong and relentless representation you need to establish negligence in a legal malpractice case and to recover any damages you may have suffered. Our firm can recover compensation for pre-trial and trial malpractice, violations of fee arrangements, loss of income, pain and suffering, and much more. Contact us today!


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