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Accidents — Labor Law — Slips, Trips & Falls — Slips, Trips & Falls — Fall from Height
Laborer fell off roof, claimed disabling injuries of brain, spine
Lin claimed that the building’s roof did not have a secure point to which his harness could have been connected. He further claimed that the defendants did not provide any other device that could have prevented his fall or his injuries. Lin’s counsel claimed that Lin had not been trained to identify anchorage points and would not have been able to independently deploy a fall-prevention system.
Lin’s counsel contended that the incident stemmed from an elevation-related hazard, as defined by Labor Law 240(1), and that Lin was not provided the proper, safe equipment that is a requirement of the statute.
Defense counsel contended that adequate safety equipment was available, but that Lin did not utilize it.
INJURIES/DAMAGES Lin was placed in an ambulance, and he was transported to a hospital. Doctors noted that he was suffering a closed injury of his head; fractures of transverse processes of his spine’s L1, L2, L3, L4 and L5 vertebrae; a fracture of one shoulder’s scapula; fractures of several ribs; a laceration of his spleen; a contusion of a lung; and a renal hematoma. Lin claimed that he also sustained herniations of intervertebral discs of his spine’s cervical and lumbar regions. He further claimed that his head’s injury caused encephalomalacia, which is a degeneration of tissue of the brain, and severe resultant impairment of his memory, his motor skills, his processing skills and other elements of his cognition.
Lin underwent several months of physical therapy. He also underwent administration of epidural injections of steroid-based painkillers.
Lin claimed that he suffers permanent residual pain and limitations that prevent his resumption of work. He also claimed that he must undergo fusion of a portion of his spine’s lumbar region.
The parties stipulated that Lin’s past medical expenses totaled $60,086.27. Lin sought recovery of that amount and a total of $55 million for past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel contended that Lin does not suffer disabling impairment of his cognition. They claimed that Lin can resume work. They suggested that his pain and
suffering did not warrant damages of more than $500,000.
RESULT A jury found that Gamut Consulting and Hutch Realty Partners violated Labor Law 240(1). A second jury determined that Lin’s damages totaled $62 million. Judge Janice Taylor added the stipulated medical expenses: $60,086.27.
GUANG LIN $20,000,000 Personal Injury: Past Pain And Suffering
$42,000,000 Personal Injury: Future Pain And Suffering
POST TRIAL Taylor denied defense’s counsel’s oral motion to set aside the verdict.
EDITOR’S COMMENT This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s counsel. Counsel of Crystal Curtain Wall Systems, Gamut Consulting and Hutch Realty Partners did not respond to the reporter’s phone calls, and the remaining defendants’ counsel was not asked to contribute.
Contracts — Breach of Contract
Lenders charged excessive fees, mortgagors alleged
AMOUNT $54,800,000
TYPE Verdict-Plaintiff
CASE Mazzei v. Money Store VENUE Federal
JUDGE John G. Koeltl
DATE December 19, 2014 PLAINTIFF(S) Joseph Mazzei
ATTORNEY(S) Moshe Horn and Christopher Van de Kieft; Seeger Weiss LLP;
New York, NY
Paul Grobman; Law Offices of Paul Grobman; New York, NY
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Lin v. Hutch Realty Partners, LLC. Queens County
Janice A. Taylor
December 15, 2014
back - fracture, vertebra, fracture, transverse process, herniated disc, lumbar
head - head, closed head injury
neck - fracture, vertebra, fracture, transverse process, herniated disc, lumbar, herniated disc, cervical
brain - brain damage, encephalomalacia, traumatic brain injury
chest - fracture, rib
other - hematoma, physical therapy, spleen, laceration, epidural injections shoulder - fracture, fracture, scapula
mental/psychological - cognition, impairment, memory, impairment pulmonary/respiratory - lung, contusion
Zeng Guang Lin (Male, 20 Years)
Benedict P. Morelli, Adam E. Deutsch and David T. Sirotkin; Morelli Alters Ratner, LLP; New York, NY
Drew Stein M.D.; Orthopedic Surgery; New York, NY Wayne Gordon Ph.D.; Neuropsychology; New York, NY Irving Friedman M.D.; Neurology; Brooklyn, NY Michael Lipton M.D.; Neuroradiology; Bronx, NY
6 months
7 hours
FACTS & ALLEGATIONS On May 8, 2008, plaintiff Zeng Guang Lin, 20, a laborer, worked at a construction site that was located at 1250 Waters Place, in the Westchester Square section of the Bronx. Lin was installing metal siding while working from a scaffold that was hanging alongside a building. He was wearing a safety harness and he had been provided a rope to secure himself.
During the course of his work, Lin was instructed to exit the scaffold and move to a roof, to assist in a hoisting operation. Lin did so but fell off of the roof. He plummeted some 20 feet, and he landed on the ground. He claimed that he sustained injuries of his back, his head, a lung, several ribs, a shoulder and his spleen.
Lin sued the premises’ owner, Hutch Realty Partners LLC, and the construction project’s general contractor, Gamut Consulting Inc. Lin alleged that the defendants violated the New York State Labor Law.
The defendants impleaded Lin’s employer, Crystal Curtain Wall Systems Corp., and two related entities, Archimetal Vision Inc. and Sinometal Structure Inc. The first-party defendants alleged that Archimetal Vision, Crystal Curtain Wall Systems and Sinometal Structure controlled and directed Lin’s work functions. They sought indemnification.
Archimetal Vision and Sinometal Structure did not answer the suit, and the first-party defendants did not pursue the claims against them. Crystal Curtain Wall Systems agreed to indemnify the first-party defendants, though its contribution could not exceed its insurance coverage.
12 VerdictSearch’s Top New York Settlements of 2014

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