Our client was a roofer for over 30 years and worked for a company which was hired by a general contractor to demolish a roof. On his first day at this jobsite, a section of the roof collapsed beneath our client, causing him to fall approximately 30 feet. Our client was not provided with any safety devices by his employer, the general contractor or building owner. Furthermore, when he asked about bringing safety devices to the site, our client was told he did not need them that day. Obviously, he did.
Our client sustained serious injuries. He was immediately taken to the emergency room as a trauma code due to fractures, loss of consciousness and severe bleeding. He sustained multiple injuries including a concussion, neck, shoulder, lower back injury, hip, and rib injuries. He underwent surgery for his shoulder fracture and was released home after four days. He was confined to bed for approximately one month and has not been able to return to work.
When our client hired Basch & Keegan, Derek Spada was ready to fight for him. He sued the general contractor and the property owner for Labor Law violations.
The general contractor was hired to turn a three-story empty steel structure into a single-family residence. Our client’s roofing company was hired to remove the rubber membrane along with its sub-base material and roof panels. Part of the plan was to remove the bar joists and support columns, and beams that held the bar joists in place and replace them with new steel and wood members and wood timbers for the new roof. The general contracting company was not on site when our client fell and provided no safety equipment for the roofing company.
While our client was walking on the roof, he stepped on a precut section. Apparently, some of the cuts through this section went all the way through, as opposed to partially through the roof structure. Nobody informed our client about this fact.
The property owner was deemed to be not liable because this was a one-family structure, and the owner was not negligent.
The general contracting company argued that our client was “recalcitrant” or uncooperative in wearing the safety equipment. However, this was far from the truth because safety equipment was never provided and was told unnecessary for this day. Derek argued that the general contractor was liable to our client’s injuries based on Labor Law 240(1), stating they were required to provide safety devices.
After years of litigation, and only days before trial, the general contractor’s insurance company offered a settlement of $900,000 to our client.