A New York Construction Accident Lawyer Who Represents Injured Workers Tracking Developments in Construction Accident Law.

My firm recently obtained a settlement over $1 million for a construction worker who fell while descending an unsafe ladder at a city construction site. The ladder had bent rungs and was improperly secured. The plaintiff recalled stepping on a defective rung and the ladder shaking, but after that he has no memory until waking up in the hospital.

How does an attorney prove liability in such a case?

Well, the defendant argued that we could not prove our case because there was no proof of causation. In other words, we could not show that it was a defect in the ladder that caused him to fall. He could have fallen due to other reasons, such as the fact that he was carrying tools in one hand.

But New York law places a less stringent burden of proof on amnesiac plaintiffs. And a wobbly and unsecured ladder that causes a worker to fall is sufficient to satisfy a cause of action under Labor Law 240(1), the New York scaffold law.

But what about the defendant’s argument that the plaintiff was somehow at fault? A defendant cannot evade liability by demonstrating that a plaintiff was comparatively negligent. Instead, the defendant has to show that the plaintiff was the sole proximate cause of the accident. Here, it could not meet that burden. 

Hence, a generous settlement was agreed to.

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