An electrician from Grant City, injured when he fell through a hole in a fueling pier at the St. George Ferry Terminal almost six years ago, has settled his civil lawsuit for $1 million.
Russell Menicucci suffered back and neck injuries in the Dec. 2, 2003, accident, said his lawyer, Andrew John Calcagno. Those injuries have prevented him from returning to work, the attorney said.
Menicucci, now 45, was employed by Universal Electric Corp., a White Plains, N.Y.-based electrical subcontractor at the site.
He was working around 1 p.m., when he stepped through a “gaping” 16-inch opening in a grated section of the pier, court papers said. The hole, which was covered with “a flimsy and easily penetrable material,” was to be filled with concrete.
Menicucci was knocked unconscious by the fall and nearly plunged into the frigid water below, said court papers. However, the life jacket he was wearing caught onto metal grating in the hole and held him up. Menicucci suffered herniated discs in his neck and back.
Two months earlier, on Oct. 15, 2003, in an unrelated incident, 11 people perished and scores were injured when the ferryboat Andrew J. Barberi slammed into a concrete maintenance pier at the terminal. It was one of the worst mass-transit accidents in city history.
Menicucci sued the city and several city agencies, along with Spearin, Preston & Burrows, Inc. and Skanska USA Building, Inc., the general contractors. He alleged they were negligent by allowing a dangerous condition to exist and failing to warn others of it.
Menicucci alleged his injuries caused him excruciating pain and precluded his carrying heavy items. Bending is very painful, he contended.
The insurance carrier for Spearin and Skanska paid the settlement, said Calcagno. The city was indemnified for liability under the general contractors’ insurance policies, he said.
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