Worksite Accident: An elevator mechanic foreman who suffered a shoulder injury at a building construction site agreed to a $1.2 million settlement in his Essex County suit. The plaintiff was injured when he walked into the elevator machine room on the 14th floor. The areas adjacent to the elevator machinery had a raised computer floor, making it necessary to step down about 15 inches to reach the machine room. However, on the weekend before the plaintiff’s injury, a makeshift step was installed on the elevator machine room floor so a person stepping off the raised computer floor would step onto this makeshift step and then onto the concrete floor of the elevator machine room.
On the day of the accident, the makeshift step buckled when the plaintiff stepped into it from the raised floor, causing him to twist his ankle and fall forward onto the floor. The plaintiff sustained a rotator cuff tear with impingement syndrome in the left shoulder, as well as a left ankle sprain. He also underwent two operations on his left shoulder.
Following the operations, the plaintiff returned to his job as an elevator mechanic but he was unable to continue due to pain and discomfort in his left arm. He took a job as an elevator inspector, but that position paid far less than his previous job, said Peter Chamas of Gill & Chamas in Woodbridge, who represented the plaintiff in this case. An investigation failed to determine who created the makeshift step, but determined that it was not properly built and was a hazard, Chamas said.