On May 30, 2018 the appellate court covering Queens County refused to overrule a trial court Judge who had reduced a jury verdict from $2,251,663 to $1,200,000. The plaintiff construction worker was in the process of removing the fourth floor of a commercial building when a coworker requested his help in moving a metal beam. In order to reach his coworker, the plaintiff had to detach his harness from the safety line which was not long enough to allow him to reach the coworker. When they moved the metal beam it struck the wooden beam on which the construction worker was standing causing him to fall to the third floor below.
The defense argued that plaintiff was solely responsible for removing his safety harness but the Court and Jury disagreed--"The availability of a particular safety device will not preclude liability if the device alone is not sufficient to provide safety without the use of additional precautionary devices or measures....The plaintiff was not provided adequate safety equipment to prevent him from falling." The plaintiff suffered a left knee fracture and an aggravation of a pre-existing acetabular hip impingement.
The plaintiff was awarded $709,000 for pain and suffering; $324,000 for medical expenses: and, $167,000 for past wages totaling $1,200,000. Munzon v Victor, 2018 WL 2424756