In 2014, one in five workplace accidents took place on a construction site (source). Despite dozens of codes, regulations and laws companies are required to follow; construction sites naturally expose workers to what the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) calls the “Fatal Four.” Electrocution, struck by object, stuck between objects and, with the highest number of incidents, falling, put each worker in danger regardless of their experience. That same year, OSHA also discovered its most violated standard is fall protection (source).
The Orlow Firm took action in a recent case involving a workplace fall due to company negligence. Sabatello Zaami, a 57 year old, union-affiliated painter and New York City resident suffered a six-foot fall from the top of a ladder during a restoration project in 2012. The fall was the result of regular movement shifting the ladder and knocking him off balance. While current labor law requires a spotter to ensure this doesn’t happen, the company had transferred that worker to a new task.
Zaami was taken from the site, by ambulance, to a hospital. A fractured heel and impact related joint damage left him with a cast, physical therapy and the inability to continue working. Permanent damage led to ongoing pain, loss of movement and a surgical procedure to the joint the following year.
Fearing that his and his family’s livelihood was at stake due to lost wages, Zaami contacted The Orlow Firm to make a case. In February 2016, The Orlow Firm filed a lawsuit against the parties in charge of the construction site for failing to provide adequate protection. Despite the obvious negligence, Zaami’s employers stated he was at fault for the accident and that his lost earnings were exaggerated, further claiming he wouldn’t have worked until the average age of retirement regardless of the fall. The court denied Zaami’s case.
The Orlow Firm is built on over 30 years of dedication to its clients. We aim to bring quality, caring service to ensure our injured clients receive what they deserve. As long as there’s a fighting chance, we will not back down. After Zaami’s case was denied, our legal counsel appealed the decision and began discussions for a pretrial settlement. Before the court could reach a decision on proceeding to trial, The Orlow Firm closed the case with a $1.3 million settlement. The physical and emotional hardship may never be undone, but Zaami’s future wellbeing has been saved in the face of company negligence.
An accident in the workplace shouldn’t mean an uncertain future. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury on the job, contact The Orlow Firm today.