Sjur Stephen Madsgard v. W.J. Barney Corp., et al. v. BFM Contracting

/ / Case Verdicts

Case Name

Sjur Stephen Madsgard v. W.J. Barney Corp., et al. v. BFM Contracting

Type of Injury

FRACTURED CALCANEUS RESULTING IN REFLEX SYMPATHETIC DYSTROPHY WITH OVER 70 OPERATIONS

Occupation

bricklayer

Location

Kings, NY

Verdict

This action settled after jury selection and before opening statements for $3,000,000 plus a waiver of a $343,000 Workers Compensation lien.

Verdict Amount

$3,000,000.00

Case Details

XVIII/14-50 LABOR LAW SCAFFOLD SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON LIABILITY FRACTURED CALCANEUS RESULTING IN REFLEX SYMPATHETIC DYSTROPHY WITH OVER 70 OPERATIONS

SETTLEMENT: Sjur Stephen Madsgard v. W.J. Barney Corp., et al. v. BFM Contracting 14131/95 Date of Settlement 5/15/00 Kings Supreme

Pltf. Atty: Michael S. Levine of Gandin, Schotsky, Rappaport, Glass & Greene, L.L.P., Melville

Deft. Atty: Harry P. Brett of Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker, L.L.P., Manhattan, for all Defts.

John Kieran Daly of Tutoki & Goldstick, Manhattan, for Third-party Deft. BFM

This action settled after jury selection and before opening statements for $3,000,000 plus a waiver of a $343,000 Workers Compensation lien. On 12/20/94 at approximately 8:35 AM, Pltf., a 38-year- old bricklayer, was working at the Prospect Heights High School in Brooklyn. Pltf., an employee of Third-party Deft. BFM claimed he was injured when he fell from a scaffold bridge erected between two retaining walls. Pltf. further claimed that the bridge was not equipped with any safety devices to protect workers from falling. Pltf. moved for summary judgment under Labor Law ?240(1). Defts. contended that summary judgment should not be granted because: there were no eye witnesses; Pltf. was a recalcitrant worker; Pltf. had disobeyed a directive not to use the scaffold; and there was still outstanding discovery. The motion for summary judgment was granted. Pltf. was also granted a special trial preference by reason of his indigent status.

Injuries: fractured left calcaneus that required emergency surgery. Pltf. claimed that the injury subsequently resulted in reflex sympathetic dystrophy, which was so severe that he has since undergone 70 procedures and surgeries, including: a fasciotomy of his left foot; dozens of lumbar sympathetic nerve block procedures; the implantation of a spinal cord stimulating apparatus; and stellate ganglion blocks. Defts. contended that Pltf. did not suffer from reflex sympathetic dystrophy. Pltf. has not worked in any capacity since the accident, and claims to be totally disabled. Demonstrative evidence: medical illustrations showing the various procedures and surgeries performed on Pltf.; timeline showing the 70+ procedures that have been performed on Pltf. to date. No offer; demand: $5,000,000. Settlement apportionment: $1,500,000 paid by AIG on behalf of Defts.; $1,500,000 (plus the waiver of the lien) paid by ITT Hartford on behalf of Third-party Deft. Carriers: AIG for Defts.; ITT Hartford for BFM.

Pltf. Experts: Pltf. would have called Dr. Howard V. Katz, orth. surg., Liberty; Dr. Vito Rizzo, D.P.M., podiatrist, Bay Shore; Dr. Ronit Adler, anesthesiologist, West Islip; Dr. Sunil Butani, physical medicine, Garden City; Edmond Provder, vocational rehabilitation, Manhattan; Alan Leiken, Ph.D., economist, Stony Brook.

Deft. Experts: Defts. would have called Dr. Ralph Olson, neurosurgeon, Manhattan; Dr. Maurice Carter, orth. surg., Manhattan; James Pascuiti, vocational rehabilitation, Springfield, New Jersey.