Kerwin Park was a 36 year old day laborer doing construction work on a residential building in Manhattan on September 7, 2000 when a wooden plank he’d been standing on collapsed and sent him tumbling 20 feet to the unfinished basement below.
Park was rushed to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a displaced, comminuted, intra-articular fracture of his right elbow’s olecranon (as well as a non-displaced fracture of his left wrist).
He required open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) surgery in which the elbow fracture fragments were pushed into place and then tension band wiring and pins were used to create compression at the elbow fracture site.
Park underwent a second surgery to remove the hardware within a year after his accident. Then, he underwent 10 months of physical therapy. In the interim, he undertook nursing courses and he then pursued a new career as a certified nursing attendant taking care of elderly patients.
In the ensuing lawsuit against the premises owner, a contractor and others, Park claimed he wasn’t provided a safe place to work or proper equipment. After extensive pre-trial procedures and motions, Park was finally granted summary judgment on liability and a Manhattan jury returned a pain and suffering damages verdict in his favor in the sum of $2,300,000 ($1,500,000 past – 7 ½ years, $800,000 future – 33 years).
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