New Paltz Man Settles Injury Lawsuit for $1.2M

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

March 11, 1999
John Milgrim

KINGSTON - A New Paltz man yesterday won a $1.2 million legal settlement for injuries received when he slipped on a staircase in 1995 at IBM's plant in Poughkeepsie.

Steven E. Ragule, 45, of New Paltz, settled with IBM, the plant property management company and several subcontractors yesterday for a sum totaling $1.2 million. A third of that goes to his lawyers. He was represented by Newburgh lawyer Elliot Tetenbaum of Larkin, Ingrassia & Tepermayster, LLP.

Tetenbaum said Ragule slipped on the metal staircase Feb. 3, 1995, and injured his back. The stairs, the same day, had been treated with calcium chloride, a chemical used to remove ice from surfaces but one that's not supposed to be used on metal, Tetenbaum said. The lawyer said the stairs would have been less slippery if the chemical was not placed on them.

Ragule worked at the time for Axiom Real estate, the property management firm contracted by IBM. Three other firms were each subcontracted for snow and ice removal on the property. IBM and Axiom footed the bulk of the settlement paying, $355,000 each. Three subcontractors paid the rest.

The settlement was reached yesterday in state Supreme Court in Kingston after the jury trial had already begun. Tetenbaum said the companies in charge of removing snow and ice were previously warned that calcium chloride can make metal slippery.

* Reprinted with permission of The Times Herald-Record

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.