In Soo Kim v. Tel-Ko Electric Corp. v. Jung Woo Construction
Type of Injury
FRACTURED HIP, WRIST AND LUMBAR VERTEBRA
XV/16-10 LABOR LAW SCAFFOLD FRACTURED HIP, WRIST AND LUMBAR VERTEBRA
In Soo Kim v. Tel-Ko Electric Corp. v. Jung Woo Construction 10380/89 2?-day trial Verdict 9/17/97 Queens Supreme
Judge: Orin R. Kitzes
Verdict: $180,000 (6/0). Breakdown: $80,000 for past pain and suffering; $75,000 for past lost earnings; $25,000 for past medical expenses. Post-trial motions were denied.
Pltf. Atty: Jack Martin of Edward H. Suh & Associates, Queens
Deft. Atty: Derek Barrett of Gladstein & Isaac, Manhattan, for Tel-Ko
Francis Heneghan of DeBellis & Andreotta, Melville, for Jung Woo
Facts: Pltf., a 52-year-old illegal alien and construction worker, was injured on 4/13/88 while painting a wall, when the scaffold on which he was standing rolled away and caused him to fall approximately 12 feet to the concrete floor below. Pltf. was not wearing any safety equipment. There were no witnesses to the accident, but workers at the site aided Pltf. immediately after he fell. Pltf. was granted summary judgment against Deft. Tel-Ko, and Tel-Ko was subsequently granted summary judgment against Deft. Jung Woo for common law and contractual indemnification.
Injuries: fractured pelvis and acetabulum requiring insertion of a Steinman pin; fractured left (non-dominant) wrist; spinal fracture at L-3. Pltf. was taken to Flushing Hospital from the worksite. He remained hospitalized for 3? weeks and underwent several operations on his wrist. He claimed that he cannot sit for more than 15 minutes without pain. Pltf. also contended that he has limited motion in his wrist and hip. Pltf. s experts testified that he will require a hip replacement and wrist fusion in the future. Pltf. also contended that he would pass out when he stood up to urinate. Deft. s expert agreed that Pltf. had limitation of motion in his wrist and hip, but denied the need for a hip replacement or wrist fusion. Pltf. s economist and vocational rehabilitation expert testified that as a laborer who could speak little English and with no job skills aside from being a construction laborer which he could no longer do, Pltf. was no longer employable. He estimated Pltf. s lost earnings at approximately $400,000. Demonstrative evidence: X- rays; hospital records; anatomical models; blow-ups; chart of lost earnings. Offer: $300,000; demand: $750,000. Carriers: General Accident for Jung Woo; Pawtucket Insurance Company for Tel-Ko.
Pltf. Experts: Dr. Stanley Ross, orth. surg., Forest Hills; Dr. Lawrence Shields, neurologist, Brooklyn; Conrad Berenson, Ph.D., economist, Woodbury; Edmond Provder, vocational rehabilitation counselor, Manhattan.
Deft. Expert: Dr. Irving Liebman, orth. surg., Manhattan.