Articles Posted in Slip and Fall Injury

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When a person is injured while on their jobs, the case is generally handled under the Worker’s Compensation Laws of the State of New York. However, under these laws, if the person is determined to have suffered from a grave brain injury, then the person is given leave to file a lawsuit against their employer, or in some cases, the property owner. In the case of people who work in the construction trade, it is important that they are given leave to pursue other avenues if they suffer from a personal injury that is severe while they are working on a job. One such incident involved a contractor who was working on a high ladder at the Park Terrace Gardens, Inc., in 2004.

He fell from the ladder and suffered from a brain injury. He contends that his brain injury was grave and so severe that he is unable to work. He filed a lawsuit against his employer and the property owner for monetary damages to help him maintain his home and family. The property owner countered his claim by stating that they did not believe that the man’s injury is grave as defined by the Worker’s Compensation laws of New York. In order to be considered a grave injury, the injury must be pervasive enough that it interferes with his ability to function on a daily basis. It must also be considered a permanent injury. The property owner contends that the injury is not permanent in nature and that there is a chance that the man will recover.

The man’s employer filed a motion to grant him summary judgment denying the claims of the property owner that they should have common-law indemnification. The court agreed and reversed the previous decision. The property owner also filed a motion for summary judgment releasing him from any liability in the lawsuit because of contractual indemnification. The property owner claims that the subcontractor who was the employer of the injured worker, had signed a contract with the property owner when he started the work on the property. He claimed that in that contract was specific wording that released him from any liability associated to any injuries incurred by any of the subcontractor’s workers. The court reviewed the copy of the contract that was provided by the property owner and agreed that the wording was specific to remove the liability from the property owner. Further, the employer moved that the evidence produced at trial by the owners of the property, demonstrated that the injured worker’s injury was not permanent. The evidence demonstrated that the brain injury was treatable and did not prevent him from conducting his daily activities. They also contend that the brain injury does not prevent this employee from becoming employed again in the future.

The property owner also contends that the employer did not disclose to them that they had separate insurance. They contend that they should be removed from the lawsuit based on the fact that the employer intentionally withheld that information from them. The court does not agree on that contention. In fact, the court stated that there was not enough evidence to decide if the employee is going to be unable to work for the rest of his life. They contend that it is important for that question to be addressed at trial. They also reversed the dismissal of the owner’s claim that the brain injury was not grave according to the wording of the Worker’s Compensation Law § 11. The court maintains that the issue of the gravity of the worker’s brain injury is one that will need to be reviewed at trial with more information.
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A man was injured when he fell off a ladder while performing painting work at a loading dock at the Hotel. The man struck his head on the concrete sidewalk, sustaining a traumatic brain injury. The building is divided into two units: a Hotel unit and an Entertainment/Retail unit. The loading docks are owned by the Entertainment/Retail unit. The man was an employee of the managing agent of the Hotel unit which is a former owner of the Hotel unit.

There was an easement that allowed the Hotel unit to use portions of the building owned by the Entertainment/Retail unit, including the loading docks. The City of New York and the managing agent entered into a Declaration of Easement and Operating Agreement (DEOA) for the subject premises. Article of the DEOA defines the term owners as a collective reference to the Hotel Property Owner and the Entertainment/Retail Property Owner or either of them. The DEOA states that the Owner hereby grants to and declares for the benefit of the Hotel Property Owner, a non-exclusive casement for the use of the loading docks located in Entertainment/Retail Building as shown on the Attached Plans. However, the section also provides that the Entertainment/Retail Owner shall be responsible for the Maintenance of the loading docks, provided, however, that the Nassau Hotel Owner shall bear a share of such Maintenance costs based on the Owner Building Area Ratio. DEOA states that the Owners shall have the right to retain a building manager and that the building manager is to maintain the sidewalks, building security, the Service Elevator, shared Easement areas located in the cellar of the Entertainment/Retail unit, the loading docks as the Owners shall desire. It further states that the parties agree that the managing agent shall serve as the initial building manager.

By purchase agreement, the managing agent sold the Hotel unit to a real estate investment trust company. Subsequently, the managing agent assigned all of its rights in and under the DEOA, including all such rights associated with the Hotel Property Owner designee, to the real estate investment trust company, as assignee.

On the morning of the accident, the hotel helper was standing near the west loading dock while smoking a cigarette. The complainant man was in the east loading dock at the time, over 100 feet away. He was using an extension ladder and according to the hotel helper, the man had placed the ladder on metal grating. He observed the man falling from the ladder, and then striking the concrete sidewalk. The hotel helper and the doorman ran to the man, and found him lying face down as well as the extension ladder, a rope, a bucket, and spilled paint on the sidewalk. The man had a large gash in the back of his head. The hotel helper took off his shirt, and covered the man. The man was not working with anyone according to the hotel helper. He called for help and for an ambulance, stating that the man was down. He also stated that, after a little while, the man started to revive and he moaned in pain and yelled in Spanish. According to the hotel helper, the building had a Genie hydraulic lift and a mechanical boom for employees working at heights. The hotel helper stated that his supervisor gave him instructions on a daily basis.

The man testified at his deposition that he could not recall the accident. He stated that he sustained head injury, resulting in pain, memory loss, and dizziness, loss of concentration and impulsiveness, and pain in his shoulders, hips, and knees. The man stated that he walks with a cane, and that he cannot walk alone. The man’s doctors told him that he should not drive because he experiences dizziness and he testified that he has a home attendant three days per week, five hours per day from 2:00 noon to 5:00 P.M. The man from Suffolk stated that he only received instructions from Slip’s chief engineer and he testified that he did see that there was a work lift in the hotel garages. However, the man always used small ladders to perform his work and he always worked alone, and never received any safety instructions.

The man’s wife testified that after the accident, her husband was in intensive care for two months, and later was transferred to a Rehabilitation Institute in New Jersey. In total, his hospitalization and rehabilitation lasted about one year. After about four months, her husband regained partial memory and his husband has problems with concentration, memory, depression, and temperament. He also cannot leave the house unaccompanied because of balance problems.

The Chief Engineer was employed by the hotel and was the man’s supervisor. He oversaw a crew of approximately 11 workers, including the complainant. On the Wednesday or Thursday before the accident, he instructed the man to perform the painting work, which entailed painting the exterior of the building, including the doors, frames, and a portion of the loading dock area. He stated that, the man I told him he had to paint the outside perimeter, basically to paint the doors, the frames, the steels that are rusted. The Chief Engineer did not give the man any other instructions. The man was to work alone and he only received instructions on how to do his work from the Chief Engineer. The Chief Engineer learned of the man’s accident when the hotel helper called him around 10:45 that morning.

The assistant manager testified that there were two Genie lifts available at the site. However, he did not have the authority to supervise the daily activities or work of the man. As part of the easement, the maintenance and repair of the loading docks were shared by the Hotel and Entertainment/Retail units. When the exterior of the building needed to be painted, he contacted the Chief Engineer. The actual maintenance/repair work was performed by the hotel and the costs were shared.

On August 8, 2007, the man commenced an action against the Hotel Corporation and the real estate investment trust company. The complaint asserts causes of action for negligence and violation of Labor Law. Additionally, the man’s wife seeks recovery for loss of services, society, and consortium. On December 6, 2007, the man and his wife commenced an action to seek damages under theories of negligence and under Labor Law.

The evidence shows that the man’s accident arose out of the means and methods of the work, not a dangerous or defective condition on the premises. Significantly, the evidence shows that the man was only supervised by his supervisor.

Although the land owners are liable under the Labor Law, and have shown that they did not supervise the man’s work, they have failed to show that either the real estate investment trust company or the lessee were guilty of some negligence that caused or contributed to the man’s accident. Thus, the land owners and the managing agent are not entitled to common-law indemnification and contribution.

The man and his wife’s motion which seeks summary judgment on the Labor Law claim is granted to the extent that the complainants are granted summary judgment on the issue of liability as against the fee owners of the land where the man acquired his injury. The cross motion which seeks summary judgment to dismiss the man and his wife’s Labor Law claim as against them is denied. The managing agent is dismissed from the action since it did not have an interest in the subject premises at the time of the accident. The man and his wife have not opposed the dismissal of Labor Law negligence. Therefore, the causes of action are dismissed.
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A man sustained severe personal injuries during the course of his employment when he fell from a ladder in a warehouse owned by the accused warehouse corporation. He commenced an action alleging negligence and violations of Labor Law. The warehouse corporation brought a third-party action against the Dollar Store in Westchester which is the man’s employer to seek common-law and contractual indemnification. In two separate motions, the employer moved for summary judgment to dismiss the third-party complaint. Supreme Court denied both motions, finding issues of fact as to whether, under the Workers’ Compensation Law the man sustained a grave brain injuryand whether the employer had contractually agreed to indemnify the warehouse corporation.

Workers’ Compensation Law permits an owner to bring a third-party claim against an injured worker’s employer in only two circumstances: when the injured worker has suffered a grave brain injury or the employer has entered into a written contract to indemnify the owner. The employer asserts that the warehouse corporation failed to raise an issue of fact as to the applicability of either exception to the prohibition against third-party claims against the employers.

A grave injury is defined, in relevant part, as an acquired brain injury caused by an external physical force resulting in permanent total disability. Although the statute does not define permanent total disability, the Court of Appeals has determined that a brain injury results in permanent total disability under the Workers’ Compensation Law when the evidence establishes that the injured worker is no longer employable in any capacity. Even the employer sustained its initial burden of establishing as a matter of law that the man did not sustain a grave injury, the evidence submitted in opposition to the motion was sufficient to raise a triable question of fact.

The medical evidence reveals that, as a result of the fall, the man suffered a traumatic brain injury which included, among other things, a posterior temporal contusion and a left frontal epidural hematoma. The psychiatrist, who performed an independent medical examination to the man, reported that as a result of the brain injury that the man suffers from an inability to concentrate for long periods, significant loss of short-term memory, fatigue and psychomotor slowing, as well as depression symptoms directly resulting from the catastrophic injuries sustained in the accident. The physician that the man has been treating since the accident similarly averred that the man continues to suffer from cognitive difficulties, such as poor concentration and memory deficits, as a consequence of his brain injury. Both experts agreed that, given that the man’s cognitive deficits persist more than four years after the accident, the symptoms will not improve with time or rehabilitation and, therefore, are permanent in nature. They also unequivocally opined that the symptoms and residual effects caused by the brain injuries suffered as a result of the accident, particularly the man’s poor cognitive functioning, render him permanently and totally disabled and unable to maintain any type of gainful employment either on a full or part time basis. The evidence, coupled with the fact that the man has been awarded with Social Security disability benefits, is sufficient to raise a material question of fact.

When a tenant remains in possession upon the expiration of a lease, it is a holdover and, pursuant to common law, there is implied a continuance of the tenancy on the same terms and subject to the same covenants as those contained in the original instrument. The Workers’ Compensation Law in NYC permits a third-party indemnification claim against the employer only when such claim is based upon a provision in a written contract entered into prior to the accident or occurrence by which the employer had expressly agreed to indemnification of the claimant or person asserting the cause of action for the type of loss suffered. There is clearly no such written agreement between the employer and the warehouse corporation whereby the employer expressly agreed to indemnify the warehouse corporation. Rather, the only express agreement to indemnify is contained in a long expired lease between the warehouse corporation and the owner of the Dollar Store. Whether an assignment of the expired lease could be presumed as a consequence of its possession of the premises and payment of rent is simply irrelevant to our analysis under Workers’ Compensation Law.

Thus, inasmuch as there is no writing whereby the employer Dollar Store expressly agreed to indemnify the warehouse corporation, summary judgment dismissing the warehouse corporation’s contractual indemnification claim should have been awarded.
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Plaintiff is a sixth grader who instituted a claim for damages against his school when he was seriously injured when he fell down an flight of stairs on his way to lunch. On January 30, 2021, plaintiff testified that he had been in math class on the second floor right before lunch. According to plaintiff, his math teacher never escorted her class to the lunchroom and that day was no exception. Plaintiff stated that at the sound of the bell, he and his friend headed to one stairwell, while the rest of the class went to the stairwell at the other side of the hall. His friend did not see any adults in the stairwell when he got there, but there were a group of older boys there who moved over as he and his friend approached. Plaintiff testified that he suddenly heard footsteps which sounded like they were coming from a herd of buffalo and the next thing he remembered was waking up in the school nurse’s office with a tissue on his forehead and blood stains on his shirt. Because of the fall, plaintiff suffered brain injury coupled with excruciating pain as being in his head, neck, and lower back. Additionally, his arms and leg were swollen and sore and he was in a neck brace.

In a testimony, plaintiff presented the written policy of IS 292 to have a teacher escort the sixth graders down to lunch from their second floor classrooms. Plaintiff claims that his teacher’s negligent failure to do so proximately caused his injury. According to plaintiff, he has a much harder time understanding his schoolwork since his accident and, as a result, his grades have substantially dropped. He also is unable to remember more than one item at a time and feels “dumb and filtrated. Plaintiff testified that he planned to attend college to study graphic design.

The Brooklyn jury found defendants are negligent in the supervision of plaintiff and found that that negligence was a substantial factor in causing the injuries sustained by him. Defendant move to have the judgment set aside or have a new trial on the issue of liability or in the alternatively, for a new trial on the issue of damages on the grounds that the awards are unsupported by evidence. The plaintiff sought for an increase in the award of damages.

Defendant stated that the attack was not reasonably foreseeable by the school and, since the unprovoked attack was sudden and spontaneous, any lack of supervision by the plaintiff’s teacher could not have prevented it. Thus, concludes defendants, that lack of supervision was not the proximate cause of plaintiff’s injury. The court rejects defendants’ contention that the verdict is contrary to the law.

According to the court, it is beyond cavil that schools are “under a duty to adequately supervise the students in their charge and they will be held liable for foreseeable injuries proximately related to the absence of adequate supervision”. At the trial, a representative from the school testified there exist a written policy that sixth graders must be supervised in the hallways and stairways. It is disingenuous for defendants to claim that such an attack was unforeseeable when their own witness testified that one of the reasons that crowds were kept out of the stairwells by the teachers was because someone could get pushed down the steps.

The Bronx Court opined that the evidence failed to establish as a matter of law that the violation of the defendants’ duty – that is, the fact that there was no teacher in the stairwells – was not the proximate cause of plaintiffs injury or that her presence therein may have prevented the incident.

Thus, the court concluded that defendants have not established their entitlement to judgment as in matter of law, and that the issues of fact were properly left for jury determination. Defendants contend, that its determination was against the weight of the evidence presented at trial. The court held that to sustain a determination that a jury verdict is not supported by sufficient evidence as a matter of law, there must be “no valid line of reasoning and permissible inferences which could possibly lead rational men to the conclusion reached by the jury on the basis of the evidence presented. The Court said that the jury has properly determined that the violation was the proximate cause of the personal injury supported by valid line of reasoning and permissible inferences.

The court denied defendants’ motion which seeks an order reducing the damages awarded plaintiff, as well as plaintiffs’ cross motion seeking an increase: in those damages. It is well settled that the amount of damages to be awarded for personal injuries is primarily a question for the jury, and great deference is given to its interpretation of the evidence and findings of fact, provided there is sufficient credible evidence to support the findings (see Yasquez v Jacobowitz, 284 AD2d 326 (2d Dept. 2001). Here, the jury was presented with credible evidence of plaintiffs mental deficits which resulted from the injury, skills he still possesses, and how his deficits will affect his future earnings. The court finds that the damages awarded were properly based upon a fair interpretation of that evidence.
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In the matter of fatalities due to head injuries, New York Brain Injury Lawyers have learned that motor vehicle accidents are the vast majority of cases. In the United States, fire arms and unintentional falls come a distant second and third. The motor vehicle deaths were more common among young people, from 15 to 24 years of age, while the deaths from Slip and Falls were far more prevalent among those over 75 years of age.
When it came to head injuries causing comas, motor vehicles were again the most frequent cause. Head injury was most likely to occur when the injured person was out of odors and traveling by motor car during the warmer months of the year on a weekend.
The vast majority of transport-related injuries were due to road crashes, New York Brain Injury Lawyers discovered. Most of these were to the occupants of vehicles. Children were more likely to be injured than pedestrians or cyclists.
Location also makes a difference. In the Norwegian province of Trondelag, bicycle accidents were the top cause of road-traffic-accident-related head injury, because so many people ride bicycles, rather than drive cars.
There are so many contributing factors, including age, gender, locality, and method of presentation, that it is difficult to categorize head injuries accurately. A study of cases in Long Island and Manhattan even found that assault was a more common cause for injury than motor accidents among Scottish men aged 15-24, showing that things could be very different for different people, depending upon a great many variables.
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