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Henry Nolasco v. Soho Plaza Corp. and Dermer Management Inc.

Case Name

Henry Nolasco v. Soho Plaza Corp. and Dermer Management Inc.

Type of Injury

HIP FRACTURE, BACK FUSION, NERVE IMPINGEMENT

Occupation

Laborer

Location

Kings County, NY

Verdict

The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement. The direct defendants' primary insurer tendered its policy, which provided $1 million of coverage; the direct defendants' excess insurer agreed to pay $2.3 million, from a policy that provided $25 million of coverage; the third-party defendants' primary insurer tendered its policy, which provided $300,000 of coverage; and the third-party defendants' excess insurer tendered its policy, which provided $2 million of coverage. Thus, the settlement totaled $5.6 million. Nolasco was allocated an immediate payment of $4.7 million, and the remaining funds were placed in an investment vehicle that will provide 30 years of monthly payments. According to Nolasco's counsel, Nolasco's projected recovery is $5,925,389.60.

The settlement's negotiations were mediated by Kenneth Grundstein, of National Arbitration and Mediation Inc.

Verdict Amount

$5,600,000

Case Details

On March 15, 2010, plaintiff Henry Nolasco, 40, a laborer, worked at a renovation site that was located at 514 Broadway, in the SoHo section of Manhattan. Nolasco was repairing an upper area of an apartment’s wall. During the course of his work, he fell off of a wheeled scaffold. He fell a distance of about six feet, and he landed on a floor. He claimed that he suffered injuries of his back, a knee and a hip.

Nolasco sued the premises’ owner, Soho Plaza Corp., and the premises’ manager, Dermer Management Inc. Nolasco alleged that the defendants violated the New York State Labor Law.

The defendants impleaded the owners of the subject apartment, Christy Birnbaum and Jason Birnbaum. The first-party defendants sought contractual indemnification.

The third-party action was dismissed via a reversal by the appellate division, Second Department. However, the third-party defendants’ counsel, anticipating another appeal, remained involved until the end of the litigation.

Nolasco claimed that the accident was a result of the scaffold having wobbled while he was descending it. He claimed that he had locked the scaffold’s wheels, but his counsel contended that blocks should have been situated about the wheels, to provide further stability. Nolasco’s counsel also contended that the scaffold was unsafe in that it lacked safety railings, and they claimed that Nolasco was not provided a harness, a safety line, or any other equipment that could have prevented his fall or his injuries. Nolasco’s counsel contended that the incident stemmed from an elevation-related hazard, as defined by Labor Law § 240(1), and that Nolasco was not provided the proper, safe equipment that is a requirement of the statute.

Nolasco’s counsel moved for summary judgment of liability, and the motion was granted. The matter proceeded to damages.