Niagara County to settle construction worker’s $5.5 million injury lawsuit

The Niagara County Legislature is to vote to pay a $5.5 million settlement to a construction worker whose leg was crushed at Niagara County Community College in 2008.

However, the county will receive part of the money from the contractor’s insurers and is continuing to pursue a lawsuit against another insurance company, which the county says unjustly refused to pay $5 million in the case.

The injured man, Michael J. Lombardo, 54, of Lake Road, Somerset, will end up with a little less than two-thirds of the $5.5 million, according to his attorney, Thomas H. Burton.

County Attorney Claude A. Joerg said that two insurance companies hired by the contractor, TGR Enterprises of West Seneca, will pay $1 million each toward the settlement. The county will pay $2 million up front from its property and casualty insurance fund plus another $300,000 a year for five years, starting in July 2017.

Lombardo was hurt May 27, 2008, when he was standing in the back of a moving flatbed truck hauling stacks of large replacement windows along a driveway at the NCCC campus in Sanborn. The unsecured load shifted, and several of the heavy windows tipped over, snapping his lower right leg.

State labor law puts the onus on the property owner, the county in this case, for injuries to construction workers.

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