Our NY personal injury law firm is proud to announce that our attorneys Ben. B. Rubinowitz and Christopher J. Donadio obtained a $6.25 million verdict in a construction accident that occurred in Manhattan.
The case involved a construction worker, who was injured while performing brick restoration work on an apartment building. On the day of the incident, the worker was ordered to climb on to a rope scaffold that was positioned on the fourth floor of the apartment building to obtain tools needed for the brick work. The worker was unaware that the scaffold was not properly secured. While the worker was walking on the scaffold, it shifted and caused the worker to fall 30-40 feet on to the concrete courtyard below.
The worker was rushed to Harlem Hospital where he was diagnosed with fractures to his left elbow and pelvis. While in the hospital, he underwent an irrigation and debridement of his left elbow, as well as an open reduction internal fixation of the elbow. While in the hospital, the injured worker developed an ileus, which is a disruption in the normal operation of the bowels. As a result of the ileus, the worker suffered severe abdominal distension that was managed with nasogastric and rectal tubes. After a week at Harlem Hospital, the injured worker was transferred to Bellevue Hospital for a surgery on his pelvis consisting of an open reduction internal fixation, as well as for further management of his ileus.
The law firm of Gair, Gair, Conason brought a lawsuit on behalf of the injured worker against the owner of the building and the general contractor of the project under the New York Labor Law §240(1), §241(6) and §200.
As a result of the worker being injured by a fall from a height, Christopher J. Donadio filed a motion for summary judgment under New York Labor Law §240(1), asking Judge Debra Silber of Kings Country Supreme Court in Brooklyn to find the defendants responsible for the accident. After arguments, Judge Silber granted the motion, finding that the defendants were in fact 100% at fault for the accident.
The case proceeded to a trial on damages on March 23, 2017 in front of Judge Ellen Spodek of the Kings County Supreme Court in Brooklyn. The injured worker was represented at trial by Gair, Gair, Conason managing partner Ben B. Rubinowitz and associate Christopher J. Donadio.
At trial, the defendants disputed the severity of the injuries that the injured worker suffered as a result of the fall. In support of their position, the defendants called as an expert witness, an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Gregory Montalbano. The orthopedist was subject to intense cross-examination.
During cross-examination by Mr. Rubinowitz, the credibility of Dr. Montalbano was called into question. Specifically, it was uncovered that Dr. Montalbano’s failed to review any records from the injured worker’s hospital stay at Bellevue Hospital, failed to review any radiology studies, failed to review any of the worker’s treatment records for the three years after the accident and failed to review any of the operative records prior to giving his opinions to the jury. Dr. Montalbano admitted that although he would want to review all records when treating one of his own patients, he didn’t feel it was necessary to review the records of the injured worker prior to giving his opinions, stating that the injured worker is entitled to a different standard of care than his own patients. Dr. Montalbano’s credibility was further called into question, when Dr. Montalbano denied that he had previously operated on the wrong leg of one of his patients. Despite Mr. Rubinowitz confronting the doctor with the doctor’s own sworn testimony from a prior matter where he admitted operating on the wrong leg of a patient, Dr. Montalbano continued to insist he had not done so.
After a passionate summation from Mr. Rubinowitz, the jury returned with a verdict in favor of the injured worker in the amount of $6.25 million.