Labor Law

Jeffrey Van Etten

Mr. Van Etten received a defense verdict on “causation” during a “Damages Only”
trial in the Supreme Court, County of Kings on July 13, 2018. Plaintiff, a 56 year old
plumber who had been granted summary judgment under Labor Law, Section 240(1)
for a fall from a defective ladder, underwent an L5-S1 lumbar fusion 16 months after
his accident, as well as an arthroscopic surgery for a repair of a torn labrum in his
right hip, 2 years later. Based on alleged pre-existing degenerative disease in
plaintiff’s back and the lack of immediate complaints or treatments for the hip, Mr.
Van Etten argued that the injuries did not arise out of the accident. The jury was
asked to consider “whether the injuries to the hip and back arose from the accident” as
their initial question on causation and after a day and a half of deliberations, answered
“no”. Plaintiff sought $7.6 million, including future medical specials “boarded” at
$2.26 million and $5 million in pain & suffering. Copies of the New York Verdict
Search and NY Law Journal reports of the verdict are available on request.