Harris Marks & Joseph Belluck Secure $6 Million Settlement in Syracuse Labor Law Construction Case
Belluck & Fox recently achieved one of the largest Labor Law settlements for a construction accident in the Syracuse area. Attorney Harris Marks and firm partner Joseph Belluck secured $6 million in compensation for a painter who fell while on the job and is now permanently paralyzed.
The person bringing the lawsuit, a 61-year-old retired maintenance worker and self-employed painter and contractor, had fallen from an unsecured ladder while painting the outside of a building owned by the defendants. This fall caused severe injuries including permanent quadriplegia, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down and wheelchair-bound for the rest of his life. Despite obvious safety concerns like obstacles and an overhead awning that created a dangerous working environment, the defendants failed to provide any safety equipment or assistance to secure the ladder.
The case settled for the full amount of the primary and excess insurance coverage policies in the amount of $6 million. The matter was originally scheduled for trial at the end of November 2023.
In March 2023, the Supreme Court in Onondaga County ruled in favor of the plaintiff, granting partial summary judgment under a law known as Labor Law § 240(1). This law holds the defendants completely responsible for not giving the plaintiff the necessary safety equipment or help required by the law to carry out his work safely. The court rejected the defendants’ arguments that the ladder was “properly placed” and that the plaintiff’s actions were the only reason for the accident. The case was set to proceed to a damages trial only, with the defendants having filed an appeal but not yet perfecting the appeal.
A workplace injury can change someone’s life forever. Serious workplace injuries due to improper construction or office place safety protections and defective equipment are a tragic reality in many occupations. These workplace accident injuries often leave people unable to support themselves and their families without a living wage, and as we see in this painter’s situation, the long-term effects can be devastating.
The nationally recognized personal injury attorneys at Belluck & Fox have extensive experience with workplace injury compensation and representing those who have been injured in accidents on the job by negligence. We have successfully represented people with complex cases who have been seriously hurt in falls, injured by defective products or poorly maintained equipment, suffered severe injuries resulting in disability, and other types of workplace accidents affecting wages.
If you have been injured on the job or workplace and need to talk to a workplace accident lawyer in New York, contact Belluck & Fox today. We will review your workplace accident claim immediately, at no cost or fee to you, and go over all of your options for pursuing just compensation or lawsuit for your injuries.
The Looming Health Crisis Among Quartz Countertop Workers
The Unseen Threat:
Quartz countertops have become synonymous with modern aesthetics and functionality, gracing countless homes and commercial spaces worldwide. However, beneath this seemingly innocuous industry lies a grave danger that has far-reaching implications for the health and well-being of the workers who craft these elegant surfaces.
The study’s findings paint a distressing picture: 52 countertop workers in California, primarily Latino immigrants, were diagnosed with silicosis, a debilitating and potentially fatal disease caused by inhaling silica dust. The time frame from 2019 to 2022 witnessed the emergence of this concerning trend, with at least ten workers succumbing to the disease. Shockingly, many of these cases progressed rapidly, leading to an urgent demand for enhanced protective measures and early diagnosis.
A Call for Action:
The urgency of the situation is underscored by the fact that silicosis was previously thought to be a fading concern in the U.S., primarily affecting miners and individuals working with natural stone. However, the emergence of this alarming trend among workers dealing with artificial stone challenges our preconceived notions. Dr. Jane Fazio, a pulmonary specialist at UCLA Health and co-author of the study, emphasizes the necessity for immediate action to address the escalating crisis.
Dr. Fazio’s words ring true, especially considering the startling statistics surrounding the affected workers. The average age of diagnosis was just 45 years and nearly 60% experienced delayed diagnosis due to the confusion of symptoms with other respiratory illnesses. Nearly 40% were already at an advanced stage of the disease at diagnosis, underlining the urgency of early detection and intervention.
A New Perspective on Safety Measures:
The study also shed light on the prevailing safety practices within the industry. Fewer than half of the workers reported using water suppression techniques to minimize dust exposure. Similarly, only a fraction claimed to “always” wear masks, with the rest admitting to “sometimes” using them. These revelations underscore the dire need for regulatory agencies and employers to prioritize the safety and well-being of their workforce.
Conclusion: A Call for Change
The tragic cases highlighted in this study are a clarion call for change. As the demand for quartz countertops continues to rise, we cannot overlook the toll it takes on the individuals responsible for crafting these products. The findings compel us to reevaluate industry practices, enhance safety measures, and advocate for comprehensive changes prioritizing worker health over profit. It’s not just a matter of preventing silicosis but of human dignity and the fundamental right to a safe and healthy workplace. Let us heed this call for change and ensure that the silent danger lurking in the quartz countertop industry is confronted head-on.
Quartz Countertop Workers Lawsuit Attorneys Belluck & Fox
If you or a loved one worked in the quartz countertops industry and have been diagnosed with a health complication that can be linked to silica dust, please reach out to Belluck & Fox today for a free consultation.
Belluck & Fox Wins Person Injury Settlement for a Heroic Veteran
In a resounding victory for justice, Harris Marks and our dedicated personal injury team achieved a monumental settlement, securing a compensation of $950,000 for Mr. Sim, a valiant 71-year-old veteran of the US Army. The case is a testament to our commitment to seeking rightful compensation for victims of negligence.
On Thanksgiving night, Mr. Sim, a proud US Army veteran, found himself amid a life-altering event. While crossing a crosswalk, he was struck by a reckless drunk driver who callously fled the scene, leaving Mr. Sim injured and needing immediate help. The incident occurred just as Mr. Sim left his Pastor’s home after sharing a Thanksgiving dinner.
His injuries were staggering, including compound fractures of his right tibia and fibula, necessitating multiple intricate surgical interventions involving Open Reduction Internal Fixation (ORIF). Additionally, Mr. Sim suffered a fractured left leg, a traumatic brain injury, and multiple rib fractures.
This case demanded unwavering dedication and meticulous legal maneuvers. Our team left no stone unturned, conducting multiple depositions to build a comprehensive and compelling case. A pivotal moment arose when a deposition was taken at an upstate prison where the driver responsible for the accident was located.
The insurance policy in question had a coverage limit of $1 million. Through relentless effort and legal acumen, we achieved a momentous victory by securing a settlement of $950,000, nearly the full extent of the policy. The resolution of this case is a testament to the perseverance of Mr. Sim, the dedication of our personal injury team, and the pursuit of justice that underpins our legal practice.
If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury accident, you don’t have to go it alone. At Belluck & Fox, our award-winning personal injury lawyers are dedicated to fighting for the compensation you need to get your life back in order after an accident. Reach out today for a free consultation.
Twenty Construction Workers Died on the Job in New York City in 2021
A new report shows that 20 construction workers in New York City died on the job in 2021. A year of industry shutdowns due to the pandemic caused the death rate of construction workers to decrease. However, we are now seeing fatalities rise back to pre-pandemic levels.
The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health makes a yearly comparison of data from the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. The analysis is made by looking at the death rate per 100,000 workers.
In 2021, one year after the construction pause, the fatality rate in NYC was 11.2 per 100,000 workers. This is a 60 percent increase from 2020, which was 7 deaths per 100,000 workers. Looking at pre-pandemic levels in 2019, the fatality rate was 11.6 per 100,000 workers, when 24 people lost their lives on the job.
Since the NYCOSH began issuing its annual report in 2014, non-union workers and Latino workers were most at risk of dying on the job. It is estimated that 10 percent of all New York State construction workers are Latino, however, Latino workers account for more than a quarter of workplace fatalities. The NYCOSH inspected 15 sites statewide in 2021 and reported that 80 percent of the workers were non-union.
In December 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul signed Carlos’ Law, which increases the penalty for construction companies responsible for the death or injury of workers. The law takes its name from Carlos Moncayo, a 22-year-old Ecuadorian worker who died in 2015 on the job at a Manhattan construction site.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a construction accident, you should know that there are strict time limits for filing a claim for compensation. Contact the skilled New York personal injury attorneys at Belluck & Fox today to get started on your claim, and let us fight for the justice you and your family deserve. Call or fill out our online form now to learn how we can help.
Common Workplace Accidents in Albany
Common Workplace Accidents in Albany, New York
Most people tend to associate workplace accidents with dangerous environments. In reality, injuries can and do happen in any workplace — from construction sites to factory floors to office buildings.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), approximately 140,000 job-related injuries and illnesses are reported in New York each year. Whether you a firefighter or a teacher, there is a possibility that you could be injured on the job.
The Albany, NY workplace injury lawyers at Belluck & Fox know that on-the-job accidents can have life-changing consequences. If you or a loved one was injured at work, compensation is possible to help with medical costs and other accident-related hardships.
Contact us today to learn more about your rights to compensation.
Most Common Workplace Accidents and injuries
Employers have a responsibility to create a safe workplace, but many fall short of this obligation. While workplace accidents come in a number of different forms, there are certain types of incidents that seem to occur again and again.
Our top-rated workers’ compensation lawyers have extensive experience representing injured employees in Albany and throughout New York. Some of the most common workplace accidents and workplace injuries include:
- Overexertion injuries
- Slip and fall accidents/trip and fall accidents
- Muscle strains
- Back injuries
- Being struck by falling objects
- Machinery accidents
- Motor vehicle collisions
- Repetitive stress injuries (e.g., carpal tunnel syndrome)
What to Do If You’ve Been Injured
In the unfortunate event that you are hurt on the job in New York, it is crucial that you take the appropriate steps to protect your wellbeing and your ability to obtain full and fair workers’ compensation payments. Injured workers should be sure to do the following four things:
- Seek immediate medical attention. All work injuries should be examined by a licensed physician.
- Report your workplace accident to your immediate supervisor. Under New York’s workers’ compensation laws, injured workers are required to notify their employer as soon as possible after an accident.
- Complete the official workers’ compensation form (Employee Claim Form C-3). You must fill out and submit this form in order to recover benefits.
- Be ready to seek legal guidance. If your workplace injury claim is denied or you do not know how to proceed, you should speak to an experienced Albany workers’ compensation attorney right away.
Injured Workers Face Mounting Costs
All employers should take proactive steps to promote workplace safety and decrease the likelihood of accidents. If your company is cutting corners on safety, that is not acceptable. Action should be taken.
When accidents occur, it is the injured workers who are forced to bear high costs. Beyond the medical bills, injured workers often miss a considerable amount of time on the job.
A New York workers’ compensation settlement should provide full coverage for an injured employee’s medical treatment. It should include financial support for lost wages and other damages.
Contact Our Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Today
At Belluck & Fox, our workers’ compensation lawyers are strong advocates for injured workers. If you or someone you love was hurt on the job, our skilled attorneys have the knowledge and resources necessary to prepare a strong claim for maximum benefits. For a free and confidential consultation, please contact our law firm now.