Jury awards $48M in NYC jobsite fall

December 16, 2022
Jury Awards $48M in NYC Jobsite Fall

BROOKLYN, New York – Dec 16, 2022

A Brooklyn, New York, jury has awarded $48 million in damages to a carpenter who sustained severe spinal injuries that disabled him for life after a fall on a construction site in December 2016.

Dariusz Hrychorczuk’s case was tried in Kings County Supreme Court against defendants 1677 43rd St. LLC, the owner of an apartment building located at that address in Brooklyn, and BBM Construction Corp., the general contractor on the project. Gilmar Design Corp., a masonry contractor, was named as a third-party defendant.

“It may very well be a record verdict this year,” said Slawomir Platta, one of the attorneys who represented Hrychorczuk. “We are determined to collect every penny of this award for our client.”


The jury ultimately awarded Hrychorczuk the following payments, which were announced on Dec. 7:

      • $15 million for pain and suffering.
      • $1.5 million for past medical expenses.
      • $212,000 for past lost earnings.
      • $20 million over 21.5 years for pain and suffering.
      • $11 million over 21.5 years for future medical expenses.
      • $250,000 over six years for future lost earnings.

Carol Sigmond, partner at New York City law firm Greenspoon Marder, described the award amount as “not typical” but also “not unusual.” Sigmond, who had no involvement in the case, said Brooklyn has a history of large verdicts in personal injury cases.

She pointed to Hrychorczuk’s large expenses, such as a lifetime need for specially designed bedrooms, bathrooms and vehicles, as reasons for why the award was so high.

There is no set hard cap for jury awards in New York, however a judge can consider previous, comparable cases to ensure compensation is reasonable.

Hrychorczuk had worked on the three-story construction and renovation project at 43rd St. in Brooklyn for two weeks prior to the fall. He testified that he was instructed by BBM owner Moses Kupferstein to use a temporary wooden staircase that led to a platform 8 feet above the ground. Kupferstein testified that the stairs could be moved while hooked onto the platform.

On the day of his injury, Hrychorczuk came to the top of the staircase, finding it had been moved from the spot where he had ascended it. As he stepped on the staircase, it toppled over and collapsed. Hrychorczuk fell to the ground, fracturing his lumbar spine, which caused quadriplegia, according to the lawsuit.

Zachary Phillips, www.ConstructionDive.com, Dec 16, 2022.