Mark Lopez v. KMA Builders Corp. v. T&E Nielson Assoc.
Type of Injury
AMPUTATION OF TIP OF ONE FINGER
Liability: Nielson 70%; KMA 30% negligent (6/0). Pltf. and Defts. had previously agreed to a $150,000 settlement, and the trial was held to determine the apportionment of liability between Deft. and Third-party Deft
XVII/5-24 LABOR LAW FALL FROM RAMP AMPUTATION OF TIP OF ONE FINGER
Mark Lopez v. KMA Builders Corp. v. T&E Nielson Assoc. 445/95 2-day trial Verdict 5/26/99 Suffolk Supreme
Judge: Howard Berler
Verdict: Liability: Nielson 70%; KMA 30% negligent (6/0). Pltf. and Defts. had previously agreed to a $150,000 settlement, and the trial was held to determine the apportionment of liability between Deft. and Third-party Deft. Jury: 4 male, 2 female.
Pltf. Atty: John L. Buonora of Gallo & Buonora, Commack
Deft. Atty: David Fowler of McCabe, Collins, McGeough & Fowler, Mineola
Robert M. Bridges of Jacobson & Schwartz, Rockville Centre
Facts: Pltf., a 21-year-old carpenter, was injured on 3/3/93 while working at a site for the construction of a new home in Southampton. Pltf. claimed that he was carrying a piece of lumber that was 2×10 inches wide and 20 feet long up a ramp when he slipped on mud and fell several feet. He testified that he grabbed the foundation wall and that the piece of lumber came down on his finger. Pltf. contended that Deft. violated Labor Law ??240 and 241. Defts. conceded liability, and agreed to a settlement of $150,000. The trial was held to determine the apportionment of liability between Deft., the general contractor, and Third-party Deft., the subcontractor.
Injuries: (not before the jury $150,000 settlement) partial amputation of the distal phalanx of the middle finger of the left ( nondominant) hand. Pltf. underwent several revision surgeries. He would have claimed a 40% loss of use of his hand and 100% loss of use of the finger. He would have contended that he is no longer able to grip or hold heavy objects. He never returned to work. Jury deliberation: approximately 1 hour. Carriers: Worchester for Nielson; Providence Washington Group for KMA.
Pltf. Experts: Pltf. would have called Benjamin Gastel, vocational rehabilitation, Port Washington; Dr. Hilton Adler, plastic surgeon, Stony Brook.
Deft. Experts: Deft. would have called Edmond Provder, vocational rehabilitation, Manhattan; Dr. Jerry Ellstein, hand surgeon, Huntington.