A 33 year old carpenter, Crescencio Pantoja, was injured while working on the renovations of a Bronx, NY high school. While working on a scaffold, Pantoja fell more than 23 feet to the ground, sustaining multiple injuries. Plaintiff Pantoja filed suit under Labor Law Section 240(1) against, among others, the general contractor and owner. Plaintiff maintained that defendants were liable under the statute, for failing to provide the required safety equipment in this elevation related accident.
Plaintiff claimed injuries including, among others, a skull fracture, C6 and C7 vertebrae fractures, multiple rib fractures, L5-S1 herniated disc, left shoulder rotator cuff tear with surgical repair, left thumb tendon tears with surgical repair and left wrist tendon tears with surgical repair. Plaintiff further claimed that he had constant residual pain, headaches and dizziness, that he needed lumbar fusion surgery and that he was permanently occupationally disabled.
Defendants maintained that the required safety equipment was available to plaintiff, that he exaggerated his injuries and that he was able to perform some type of work.
After the trial and during jury deliberations, plaintiff settled his case for $3.5 million. The settlement was not disclosed to the jury, who subsequently determined that defendant was liable under the labor law and that plaintiff's damages totaled $6 million. The verdict was negated by the pre-verdict settlement.
Long Island Lawyer
Paul A. Lauto, Esq.