Managing partner Joseph Orlando and associate Joseph Cianflone prevail on Summary Judgment in Queens County for dismissal of a third-party action against plaintiff’s employer for lack of ‘grave injury’

In Minchala v. Les Design (Queens County Index No. 23645/2010), the injured plaintiff was employed by Les Design Corp. as a sign/awning installer. On July 3, 2010, he was assisting with the installation of a new awning at defendants/third-party plaintiffs' premises when he fell 10′ onto a concrete sidewalk, sustaining right zygomatic fracture, right basal fracture, right iliac crest fracture, rib fracture, T1 transverse process fracture, right superior acromioclavicular dislocation and head trauma including right temporal epidural hematoma and left frontoparietal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Mr. Orlando and Mr. Cianflone established that plaintiff had recovered from his head trauma and did not exhibit any objective residuals from same. This was demonstrated through expert medical evidence, evidence from a vocational expert as well as plaintiff's own testimony. Defendants/third-party plaintiffs failed to adequately refute this evidence through any admissible medical proof. As such, the court granted the motion finding that plaintiff did not suffer a 'grave injury' within the meaning of Workers' Compensation Law Section 11 as plaintiff was not rendered unemployable in any capacity as a result of his head trauma. Further, the court also dismissed the contractual claims as the purchase order for the subject work did not contain any indemnification or insurance procurement language.