SKETCHES OF COURT: $2.5 million settlement in labor law trial
In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Wayne Saitta listens as plaintiff’s attorney Dario Perez (standing), of the law firm LaRock & Perez, addresses the jury during his opening remarks in the labor law trial Colorado v. W. F. Industrial Inc., et al. Court reporter Hyacinth D. McKen (center) recorded the proceedings.
In October 2009, Francisco Colorado, then 54 years old, was an industrial painter at a worksite on the Upper West Side in Manhattan. He was fetching supplies from the basement when he was felled by an overhead steel pipe that was dropped by workers engaged in an unrelated renovation project.
The court had previously granted summary judgment on liability in Colorado’s favor under labor law section 240. Colorado was seeking compensation for damages that included two surgeries to his lumbar spine, as well as for past pain and suffering and for alleged future pain and suffering and medical care. He testified that he hit hard on the concrete basement floor and was bleeding when he was transported by ambulance to a hospital. He received stitches for his laceration but maintains that he developed related back pain in the interim days before the stitches were removed.
The attorneys at the defendant’s table were (from left to right) Patrick Corbett, of the law firm Margaret G. Klein & Associates, who represented the building owner and two property management agents; Sheryl Sanford, of the law firm Traub Lieberman Straus & Shrewsberry, who represented the general contractor; and Michael Cannon, of the law firm Milber Makris Plousadis & Seiden, who represented W. F. Industrial, the subcontractor who hired the pipe installers. Collectively, the defendants maintained that Colorado’s back complaints were not related to his injuries, and they characterized Colorado’s fall as “taking a knee.”
The case settled during the trial, after cross-examination of the plaintiff and before any of the medical experts were called to testify, for a total of $2.5 million.
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