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Workers' Compensation

NY: $12.5M Verdict for Construction Worker Injured in 2006 New York Accident

23 year-old union laborer suffered serious back injuries and nerve damage when scaffolding fell on top of him at scene of midtown Manhattan construction project

NEW YORK, NY - Seth Harris, partner in the New York City-based litigation firm of Burns & Harris, recently prevailed in a 12-day trial in the Bronx, securing a $12.5 million verdict for a New York construction worker who was badly injured in a 2006 Manhattan accident.

The case, Leon Griffin v. Clinton Green South, LLC et al (Supreme Court of the State of New York, Bronx County, Index No. 14897/07), was resolved after a 12-day jury trial that took place in front of Hon. Mary Ann Brigantti-Hughes. The six-person jury deliberated for just three hours before returning a verdict for the plaintiff and awarded Griffin $5 million in damages for past and future pain and suffering, $3.2 million for past and future lost earnings, and $4.3 million for past and future lost benefits, for a total judgment of $12.5 million.

"This is a just outcome for our client, who suffered permanent injuries as a result of this accident that occurred because of the negligence that was shown by the property owners and general contractor," said Harris, a successful trial attorney with an impressive track record of securing major verdicts and settlements for his clients. "We're grateful to the jury for their attention to the evidence we presented and for their courage to hold the defendants responsible for the serious injuries suffered by one of the workers on their job site."

According to Harris, on June, 6, 2006, plaintiff Leon Griffin, a 23 year-old union laborer at the time, was working on the Clinton Green Construction Project at 510 W. 52nd Street in New York. As other workers dismantled a scaffold from the building frame, Griffin was cleaning the area beneath. While doing so, a side H-Frame from the scaffold, weighing approximately 40 pounds, fell 14 feet and struck Griffin in the back. He suffered a large lumbar disc herniation in his back that required surgery, and permanent nerve damage as a result of the injury, with numbing, tingling and pain radiating down to his legs. Griffin has been unable to return to work in the five years since the personal injury and has surviving on workers compensation.

Griffin filed a lawsuit against the owning and managing entities of the property, as well as the general contractor entities for the project, on the grounds that they were in violation of Labor Law 240(1). On his behalf, attorney Harris argued that the defendants failed to provide proper protection, which could have prevented the accident, and that the scaffold should have been secured and tied off.

Source: Burns & Harris. Go to