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Jury awards $3.9 million to injured elevator worker

A worker who was seriously injured while moving elevator construction materials onto a work site on the South Campus of the University at Buffalo was awarded $3.9 million by a jury, according to his lawyer.

The verdict followed a State Supreme Court trial that focused on Bryan Baum's injuries, workplace conditions and the role of Javen Construction of Penfield, a contractor on the project.

Baum's lawyer said his client fractured his ankle into multiple pieces when he slipped and fell at UB's Crosby Hall, which was undergoing a renovation at the time.

He said Baum, a Hamburg resident, will never again be able to work in the highly technical and lucrative field of elevator construction.

"The number is indicative of the very difficult work these guys do and the risks it carries," Samuel J. Capizzi, Baum's lawyer, said of the monetary award.

He said the award also reflects the income his client has already lost, as well income he will lose in the future.

Baum was working as an elevator constructor for Schindler Elevator Corp. at the time of the accident, but it was Javen Construction the jury held accountable.

Javen, a general contractor with experience building academic, health care and commercial projects across the region, declined to comment Thursday.

Schindler Elevator is part of a Swiss company that sells and installs elevators and escalators across the world and boasts of moving one billion people a day.

Capizzi said Baum's injuries were the result of wintery conditions – it was December of 2016 – and workplace safety violations at the construction site.

Baum was part of a crew building an elevator at Crosby Hall when he slipped and fell, severely damaging his ankle.

"There's no way he can go back to that job," said Capizzi.

The jury found in Baum's favor after a one-week trial before State Supreme Court Justice Joseph R. Glownia.

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