On September 20, 2013, Josan Pereira was working as a carpenter on the Hilton Garden Inn Project on Queens Plaza North in Long Island City, New York. At approximately 8 a.m. that morning Mr. Pereira was working on the mezzanine level. Mr. Pereira and his co-worker were receiving concrete form materials from a co-worker on the ground floor.

As Mr. Pereira set one of the concrete form materials against the wall and prepared to receive another from the ground floor—something hit him from above. It turned out to be a 5/8 in. x 4 ft. x 8 ft. sheet of plywood that was dropped from the floor above him. The plywood weighed between 70 and 100 pounds. It landed on Mr. Pereira’s left shoulder and neck and it knocked him to the ground.

His co-workers attended to him and then he went to the Emergency Department at Mount Sinai Hospital of Queens.

The Plywood Was Not Lowered Correctly

There are two ways to lower a piece of plywood from one floor to the floor below. The construction worker may either pass the plywood to a recipient on the lower floor or the construction worker can use a hoisting device to lower the plywood.

Neither of these methods were used when Mr. Pereira was hurt. Instead, the worker on the floor above him let go of the piece of plywood and it landed on Mr. Pereira.

Mr. Pereira Was Seriously Injured in the Construction Accident

After the plywood fell on Mr. Pereira’s left shoulder and neck, he suffered significant and permanent injuries to his shoulder and his neck. He underwent extensive treatment for his injuries which included many doctors’ visits, chiropractic sessions, physical therapy appointments, and a shoulder surgery which occurred on May 5, 2014. His neck injuries required medications, therapy, and injections.

From 2013 – 2015, Mr. Pereira rated his pain from 5-8 on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest degree of pain. Currently, he is in pain every single day. At night, he cannot lie on his left shoulder. He cannot lift his arms without pain. He remains on the lidocaine patch and he occasionally takes Tramadol to treat his pain.

Mr. Pereira Makes a Fair Recovery for Construction Accident Injuries

On January 17, 2018, Mr. Pereira’s summary judgment motion under Labor Law § 240 was granted by the court.

After his injuries, Mr. Pereira was unable to find work in the construction field. Prior to his injuries, he earned approximately $45,000 per year. He is mitigating his lost income by working as an Uber driver and is able to earn approximately $20,000 a year.

However, Mr. Pereira still suffered significant economic losses and the court found that he should be compensated for:

  • The time of his Temporary Total Disability (September 21, 2013 – July 2015) for a total of $82,500.
  • The time of his Permanent Partial Disability (August 2015 – through his expected retirement date of May 1, 2029) for a total of $350,000.
  • Medical bills that are reimbursable to the workers’ compensation insurer in the amount of $35,000.
  • Pain and suffering in the amount of $500,000.

Thus, the total losses claimed and the settlement award was $950,000.

Josan Pereira was hurt when he was 51 ½ years old. At the time of his settlement he was nearly 56 years old. He expected to work until 2029 and his life expectancy was 30 years. He is married and he has two grown daughters. It is our hope that this settlement allows Mr. Pereira to get the care that he needs and to live as comfortably as possible after his Long Island City construction accident injury.

If you have been hurt in a New York City construction accident, then our wish is the same for you. We want you to get the recovery that you deserve and to live as comfortably as possible given your injuries. To learn more about protecting your rights, please contact us online or call our office directly at 800.362.9329 to schedule a free and confidential consultation with our experienced construction accident lawyers.


Paul T. Hofmann
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Focused on personal injury, with an emphasis on maritime, railroad and construction worker tort claims.

DISCLAIMER: The results are specific to the facts and legal circumstances of each of the clients' cases and should not be used to form an expectation that the same results could be obtained for other clients in similar matters without reference to the specific factual and legal circumstances of each client's case.