Written by Ronemus & Vilensky on December 5, 2019
Ronemus & Vilensky assisted an injured worker to receive a $1 Million settlement.
On December 14, 2012, laborer and painter Lazaro Sanchez received a workplace injury that resulted in a fractured ankle. After two surgeries and extensive physical therapy, Mr. Sanchez reported continued pain and loss of mobility, and was unable to resume work. He sued the owner of the building where he was working when he received his initial injury as well as filing suits against homeowners surrounding the work site.
Mr. Sanchez was initially injured when he tripped over bamboo shoots in a narrow passageway between Extra Space Storage, located at 270 West Merrick Road in Valley Stream, New York, and adjacent properties. He fractured his ankle, which required corrective surgery and the installation of plates and screws to stabilize the fracture. He also developed neck and back pain; after physical therapy proved ineffective, he received a second surgery to fuse vertebrae in his neck. The surgeries and rehabilitation were only partially effective, leaving Mr. Sanchez with continued pain and limitations in his ability to perform everyday tasks.
As the plaintiff in the lawsuit, Mr. Sanchez claimed that the building owner had an obligation to provide a safe workplace environment but failed to do so. In addition, he claimed that the adjacent homeowners had an obligation to control the spread of bamboo beyond the confines of their properties; the presence of wild shoots in the passageway led to hazardous conditions which caused Mr. Sanchez’s injury. Mr. Sanchez claimed loss of earnings exceeding $500,000. With the help of Ronemus & Vilensky, LLP, a settlement was reached with the building owner as well as two other parties. The settlement totaled $1,000,000 after a courtroom trial and appeal.