Worker hit by falling pipe, claimed disabling spinal injuries
|Agim Dedndreaj v. A.B.C. Carpet & Home and Deegan Overhead Doors Company Inc., No. 310410/08|
|Bronx Supreme, NY|
- Daniel P. O'Toole; Block, O'Toole & Murphy, LLP; New York, NY, for Agim Dedndreaj
- Scott Occhiogrosso; Block, O'Toole & Murphy, LLP; New York, NY, for Agim Dedndreaj
- Stephen Huish D.O.; Physical Medicine; Bayside, NY called by: Daniel O'Toole, Scott Occhiogrosso
- Jeffrey Klein M.D.; Orthopedics; Brooklyn, NY called by: Daniel O'Toole, Scott Occhiogrosso
- Alan Leiken Ph.D.; Economics; East Setauket, NY called by: Daniel O'Toole, Scott Occhiogrosso
- Charles Kincaid Ph.D.; Vocational Rehabilitation; Hackensack, NJ called by: Daniel O'Toole, Scott Occhiogrosso
- David Neuman M.D.; Orthopedic Surgery; New York, NY called by: Daniel O'Toole, Scott Occhiogrosso
- David P. Feehan; Hannum, Feretic, Prendergast & Merlino, LLC; New York, NY, for ABC Carpet & Home Inc., Deegan Overhead Doors Co. Inc.
- John Tarnowski; Lester Schwab Katz & Dwyer, LLP; New York, NY, for Deegan Overhead Doors Co. Inc.
- Sheldon Manspeizer M.D.; Orthopedic Surgery; Bronx, NY called by: David Feehan, John Tarnowski
- Dr. Stanley Sprecher; Radiology; Brooklyn, NY called by: David Feehan, John Tarnowski
- Brian Grosberg M.D.; Neurology; New York, NY called by: David Feehan, John Tarnowski
- Peter Capotosto M.S. CRC; Vocational Rehabilitation; Rochester, NY called by: David Feehan, John Tarnowski
- Scottsdale Insurance Co. for Deegan Overhead Doors
- Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. for ABC Carpet & Home
- Travelers Property Casualty Corp. for ABC Carpet & Home
- Lincoln General Insurance Co. for Deegan Overhead Doors
On Oct. 25, 2008, plaintiff Agim Dedndreaj, 44, a commercial painter, worked at a retail store that was located at 888 Broadway, in Manhattan. Workers were installing a rolling gate in a doorway, and the process involved the hoisting of a pipe to the top of the doorway. The pipe fell out of the hoist while Dedndreaj was walking through the doorway, and Dedndreaj was struck by the pipe. He claimed that he sustained injuries of his back, his neck and a shoulder.
Dedndreaj sued the premises' owner, ABC Carpet & Home Inc., and the gate's installer, Deegan Overhead Doors Co. Inc. Dedndreaj alleged that the defendants violated the New York State Labor Law.
Dedndreaj claimed that a Deegan Overhead Doors employee had stated that Dedndreaj and his supervisor could safely walk through the doorway, which provided the only means of exiting the room in which the accident occurred. Plaintiff's counsel contended that Deegan Overhead Doors' workers were not utilizing a properly functioning hoist. They claimed that the incident stemmed from an elevation-related hazard, as defined by Labor Law § 240(1), and that the defendants failed to provide the proper, safe equipment that is a requirement of the statute.
Defense counsel contended that Dedndreaj ignored warnings to avoid the doorway.
Plaintiff's counsel moved for summary judgment of liability, but the motion was denied. Plaintiff's counsel appealed, and the appellate division, Second Department, reversed. Summary judgment was granted, and the matter proceeded to damages.
Dedndreaj claimed that he sustained herniations of his C5-6, C6-7 and L4-5 intervertebral discs. He also claimed that he sustained a tear of his right, dominant shoulder's glenoid labrum. He further claimed that he suffers residual psychological trauma.
Dedndreaj's spinal injuries were addressed via two surgeries. The procedures included a total of three discectomies, which involved the excision of his herniated discs, fusion of the associated levels of his spine, and the implantation of stabilizing hardware. His right shoulder's injury was addressed via arthroscopic surgery that included the implantation of stabilizing hardware. He also underwent psychological counseling that was accompanied by a medication regimen.
Dedndreaj claimed that he suffers residual pain and limitations that prevent his resumption of work. He sought recovery of $189,725.23 for past medical expenses, $62,148.58 for past lost earnings, an unreported amount for future lost earnings, and damages for past and future pain and suffering.
Defense counsel contended that Dedndreaj's injuries were degenerative conditions that were not related to the accident. The defense's vocational-rehabilitation expert submitted a report in which he opined that Dedndreaj can procure work that would provide earnings that would approximate his pre-accident earnings.
The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement. Deegan Overhead Doors' two insurers tendered their policies; each provided coverage of $1 million. One of ABC Carpet & Home's insurers, Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., agreed to pay $525,000, from a policy that provided $1 million of coverage. ABC Carpet & Home's other insurer,Travelers Property Casualty Corp., agreed to pay $1,975,000, from a policy that provided $25 million of coverage. Thus, the settlement totaled $4.5 million.
This report is based on court documents, information that was provided by plaintiff's counsel, and information that was provided by ABC Carpet & Home's counsel. Deegan Overhead Doors' counsel did not respond to the reporter's phone calls.