N.Y. Jury Awards Man $30.3 Million for Injuries from Ladder Fall

A 44-year-old New York man has been awarded $30.3 million for career-ending injuries when he fell from a ladder five years ago.

Peter E. Bissell, of Sanborn, suffered severe spinal and other injuries Feb. 21, 2002, in a building then owned by the town of Amherst that he was repairing. The fall left him partly paralyzed. His attorneys said the ladder collapsed.

Last Thursday, after a two-week trial in state Supreme Court, the jury ordered insurance carriers for the former McGonigle & Hilger Roofing Co. to pay the sum.

In 2005, another jury found the town liable for Bissell’s injuries under state Labor Law. The town countersued McGonigle & Hilger.

Court officials said Amherst is self-insured for up to $10 million, meaning a verdict against the town could have forced a dramatic hike in town property taxes. They said the verdict will likely be appealed.

Lawyers for the carriers could not immediately be reached to comment.


Information from: The Buffalo News, http://www.buffalonews.com