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Niagara Mohawk ordered to pay injured worker $4.3 million

Niagara Mohawk ordered to pay injured worker $4.3 million

Insurance carriers for Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. Tuesday were ordered by a State Supreme Court jury to pay $4.3 million to union boilermaker ******** for neck and back surgery he needed after a fall from an unsecured scaffolding at the Huntley Power Station four years ago.

Following a weeklong trial before Justice Nelson H. Cosgrove, a jury of four men and two women deliberated for about three hours before reaching the verdict for ********, 45, of Blasdell. John F. Maxwell, his attorney, said ******** fell 12 feet onto a concrete floor from an improperly-secured scaffolding while helping to renovate a boiler inside the utility’s facility on River Road in the Town of Tonawanda on May 19, 1993.

********, who also suffered two broken ribs when he struck wood planking during the fall, was able to do light welding work until March 1995 when the constant pain from his neck and lower back injuries forced him to undergo surgery that left him with restricted physical movements, they said. In September 1994, State Supreme Court Justice Barbara Howe ruled the utility legally liable in an unsafe workplace lawsuit that ******** had filed, and the case was later transferred to Cosgrove for a trial on financial damages.

Maxwell said ********, who does volunteer work two days a week for the American Red Cross, has tried to get some form of light work for the past two years, “but no one is willing to hire him” because of his physical limitations.

Court officials said attorneys for the utility’s insurance carriers are considering an appeal. – The Buffalo News