Ivan Soba v. Cablevision Systems Corporation & Cablevision Systems New York City Corporation CSC Holdings Inc., sued herein as Cablevision Systems Corporation and Cablevision Systems, New York City Corporation and Tri-Wire Engineering Solutions Inc., No. 26026/07
Type of Injury
WORKER BROKE LEG IN FALL FROM ‘INAPPROPRIATE’ LADDER
Queens Supreme, NY
The jury found that Soba’s damages totaled $5,003,801.54. However, Soba’s recovery was reduced to the stipulated limit: $4.5 million.
Judge: Marguerite A. Grays (liability) | Jeffrey D. Lebowitz (damages)
• David H. Perecman; The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C.; New York, NY, for Ivan Soba
• Igor Cohen M.D.; Neurology; Astoria, NY called by: David Perecman
• Arkadiy Shusterman D.O.; Internal Medicine; Brooklyn, NY called by: David Perecman
• Michael Stracher M.D.; Orthopedic Surgery; Brooklyn, NY called by: David Perecman
• Edmond Provder C.R.C.; Vocational Rehabilitation; Hackensack, NJ called by: David Perecman
• Alan Leiken Ph.D.; Economics; Stony Brook, NY called by: David Perecman
• Michael T. Colavecchio; Lewis, Johs, Avallone, Aviles & Kaufman, L.L.P.; Melville, NY, for Cablevision Systems Corp., Cablevision Systems New York City Corp.
• None reported; null, null, for Tri-Wire Engineering Solutions Inc.
• Howard Reiser M.D.; Neurology; Huntington, NY called by: Michael Colavecchio
• Stuart Hershon M.D.; Orthopedic Surgery; Manhasset, NY called by: Michael Colavecchio
• Sharon Levine; Vocational Rehabilitation; New York, NY called by: Michael Colavecchio
• The Hartford Insurance Group for Cablevision Systems Corp. and Cablevision Systems New York City Corp.
On April 17, 2007, plaintiff Ivan Soba, 32, an installer of cable-television systems, serviced a residence that was located at 183 Elton St., in the Highland Park section of Brooklyn. During the course of his duties, Soba fell off of the top half of an extension ladder. He plummeted about 12 feet, and he sustained an injury of a leg.
Soba sued the company that contracted his work, Cablevision Systems Corp., and a related entity, Cablevision Systems, New York City Corp. He alleged that the defendants violated the New York State Labor Law.
The defendants impleaded Soba’s employer, Tri-Wire Engineering Solutions Inc. They alleged that Tri-Wire Engineering Solutions controlled and directed Soba’s work functions.
The third-party claim was discontinued, but Tri-Wire Engineering Solutions’ insurer assumed the defense of all of the defendants.
Soba claimed that the extension ladder was not a sufficient tool, in that it was being used as a standalone ladder despite its lack of footings. He contended that the defendants should have provided a different ladder or braced and secured the extension ladder.
Soba’s counsel contended that the incident stemmed from an elevation-related hazard, as defined by Labor Law ? 240(1), and that Soba was not provided the proper, safe equipment that is a requirement of the statute. He also contended that the site was not properly safeguarded, as required by Labor Law ? 241(6).
Defense counsel contended that the accident was entirely a result of Soba’s misuse of the ladder. He claimed that available equipment would have permitted proper securing of the ladder.
Soba’s counsel moved for summary judgment of liability. Judge Marguerite Grays found that the defendants violated Labor Law ? 240(1), and, as such, she granted the motion. The matter proceeded to a trial that addressed damages.
Soba sustained an impacted comminuted fracture of the distal tibia of his left leg, which was treated with an external fixator during his initial hospitalization. He also sustained a fracture of the distal fibular shaft of the left leg, which was treated with open reduction and internal fixation with a plate and screws. Soba claimed that the fracture fragments from his injuries healed, but that deformities and defects remained. He also claimed that he suffered a shallow skin ulcer in the skin of his left ankle. He contended that he has difficulty walking, that he requires a cane and that he is in pain that requires medication. He also contended that he can no longer work in his prior occupation or any occupation that requires prolonged standing, walking, climbing or strenuous physical activity.
Soba sought recovery of his past and future medical expenses, his future life-care expenses, his past and future lost earnings, and damages for his past and future pain and suffering.
The parties stipulated that Soba’s damages could not exceed $4.5 million.
Verdict Information The jury found that Soba’s damages totaled $5,003,801.54. However, Soba’s recovery was reduced to the stipulated limit: $4.5 million.
$71,888 Personal Injury: Past Medical Cost
$792,780 Personal Injury: Future Medical Cost
$66,597 Personal Injury: Past Lost Earnings Capability
$1,277,710 Personal Injury: FutureLostEarningsCapability
$600,000 Personal Injury: Past Pain And Suffering
$1,500,000 Personal Injury: Future Pain And Suffering
$694,827 Personal Injury: future life-care cost