He was a 26 year old theatre stage hand contracted to a Broadway musical. After one of the performances, it was discovered that a large spot light attached to the ceiling above the stage had blown out. The stage hand (our client), was told to change the light which was 35 feet above the stage floor. To accomplish this, he was provided with a boson's chair that was tied with a large rope and looped through a metal wheel that was attached to a hook mounted on the ceiling. He sat in the chair and was lifted up by three co-workers who pulled him up on the rope. Once at the ceiling, he reached over to remove the burnt-out bulb. Stretching out, he lost his balance, slipped out of the chair, and fell 35-feet, landing hard on his back, causing him to sustain a spinal cord injury.
A lawsuit was brought against the theatre claiming that it failed to provide safety features in the ceiling frame above the stage of the theatre. In defense it was asserted that the claim was exclusively with workers compensation, but that in any event the theatre's stage ceiling design was safe. To counter the defense, we engaged one of the nation's most reputable model makers who created an exact replica of all hooks, belts, pulleys, and exacting details of the theatre's stage construction. Armed with that, our trial team was able to point out to the jury, the exact flaw in the structure of the stage's ceiling. Into the sixth day of trial, and after long and difficult negotiations, the defense finally made the offer that settled this most challenging case.