Construction Accidents/Labor Law

Construction accident injuries are, unfortunately, an all too frequent occurrence. New York and New Jersey Workers’ Compensation laws limit an employee’s right to file a lawsuit against his or her employer for accidents taking place in the course of employment.  However, there may be other parties responsible for your injuries.

Trief & Olk has repeatedly represented workers who have been injured as a result of the failure of owners, contractors, and subcontractors to follow safe construction practices.

Trief & Olk has been very successful in obtaining verdicts and settlements for workers injured at their workplace by machines and equipment and by unsafe construction practices, including the following examples:

  • A construction worker suffered severe injuries including multiple fractures to the hips and pelvis, as well as head trauma, when he was struck by a falling light pole.  Trief & Olk obtained a multi-million dollar settlement for the injured worker.
  • A worker suffered spinal cord damage and become unable to walk without assistance when he fell while washing windows due to a defective safety device.  As a result of Trief & Olk’s efforts, the worker received an award in the millions of dollars.
  • A custodian at a New York City public school fell from an A-frame ladder and suffered from lumbar injuries requiring a disc fusion surgery.  We obtained a settlement for him in the amount of two million dollars.
  • A laborer was injured at a municipal construction project in lower Manhattan when he fell while descending an improperly secured ladder.  He suffered from a skull fracture with bleeding in the brain resulting in mild cognitive impairments as well as herniations to his cervical and lumbar regions.  We were able to obtain a settlement for him well in excess of one million dollars.
  • A worker suffered herniated lumbar and cervical discs after he fell from a scaffold when his tools came into contact with an electrical wire. Trief & Olk was able to obtain a judgment in his favor as to liability which resulted in a seven-figure settlement.
  • In 2013, we reached a settlement in the high six-figures for a client who slipped and fell from the rear step of a recently painted work truck.  Using the testimony of the paint manufacturer, we were able to obtain payment from the company responsible for painting the truck by demonstrating that the paint was improper to use absent an anti-slip additive.
  • In early 2013, Trief & Olk won summary judgment as to the liability of defendants in an accident where our client fell from an unguarded construction site.  Defendants attempted to avoid liability by arguing that they were not the general contractor, but were prevented from making the claim due to their admissions to the contrary in prior litigation.  The case settled for several hundred thousand dollars.
  • In late 2012, we settled a claim on behalf of a construction worker injured by the falling of loose bricks at a construction site.  A settlement in the high six-figures was reached after successful mediation with the defendant.
  • A construction worker fell from an unsteady scaffold, suffering fractures of the radius and humerus and an ACL tear. The defendant erroneously claimed that the accident occurred only because of the worker’s own acts.
  • In 2012, Trief & Olk obtained a jury verdict as to the liability of defendants and subsequently settled for hundreds of thousands of dollars despite our client having used an unguarded table saw in an unsafe manner.  We successfully argued to the jury that defendants supplied the saw without a blade guard, which would have prevented the accident.
  • A laborer was injured while performing demolition work in a basement-level restaurant.  Trief & Olk was able to settle on behalf of the laborer, under the theory that the owner was liable for the accident because the manner in which the demolition was performed was in violation of the Industrial Code.
  • A maintenance worker suffered a severe fracture to his tibia and fibula (lower leg bones), requiring surgery and the implantation of hardware, after the scaffold on which he was working collapsed inward.
  • A handyman was injured when performing roofing work.  The handyman was provided with a ladder that had damaged feet and multiple missing rungs.  As a result, when climbing down the ladder, the handyman fell, suffering a severe fracture to his leg requiring surgery and the implantation of hardware.
  • A construction worker lost several fingers and most of the functional use of his left hand when he was operating a table saw that lacked the necessary blade guard and spreader.  Trief & Olk successfully claimed that the owner and tenant for the subject property were liable under Labor Law because the saw used on the job site lacked the necessary guard and spreader required by the Industrial Code.

Please contact Trief & Olk’s construction accident and labor law attorneys today for more information or to discuss your situation.