Jagjit Singh v. Village of Hempstead Housing Authority

/ / Case Verdicts

Case Name

Jagjit Singh v. Village of Hempstead Housing Authority

Type of Injury

BACK, NECK AND SHOULDER INJURIES

Occupation

Construction Worker

Location

Nassau County, NY

Verdict

The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement. The Village of Hempstead Housing Authority’s insurer agreed to pay $492,500. The negotiations were mediated by Allen Hurkin-Torres, of Jams.

Verdict Amount

$492,500

Case Details

On Nov. 18, 2011, plaintiff Jagjit Singh, 38, a construction worker, worked at a renovation site that was located at 20 Totten St., in Hempstead. Singh and other workers were constructing a scaffold. The scaffold’s materials were being hoisted to an overhead location, where they were being assembled. During the course of the work, Singh, who was situated at ground level, was struck by metal components that had plummeted several stories after having been unloaded from the hoist and dropped by a worker. Singh’s head and shoulders were struck, and he claimed that he sustained injuries of his back, his face, his neck and his shoulders.

Singh sued the premises’ owner, the Village of Hempstead Housing Authority. Singh alleged that the Village of Hempstead Housing Authority violated the New York State Labor Law.

The case was filed in Queens County Supreme Court, but it was later transferred to Nassau County Supreme Court.

Singh claimed that a safety helmet could have prevented or limited his injuries, but that a helmet was not provided. He further claimed that he had been told that a helmet was not available.

Singh’s counsel contended that the Village of Hempstead Housing Authority violated New York Codes, Rules, and Regulations title 23, parts 1.7(a)(1) and 1.7(a)(2), which specify that workers must be provided protection against overhead hazards. He also contended that the Village of Hempstead Housing Authority violated New York Codes, Rules, and Regulations title 23, part 1.8(c)(1), which specifies that safety helmets must be provided to workers located in areas in which they may be exposed to falling objects. He contended that the violations established that the site was not properly safeguarded, as required by Labor Law § 241(6).

Singh’s counsel also contended that the incident stemmed from an elevation-related hazard, as defined by Labor Law § 240(1), and that Singh was not provided the proper, safe equipment that is a requirement of the statute.

Defense counsel contended that Labor Law § 240(1) was inapplicable because hoisting was not in progress when the metal components were dropped.