Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.

Articles Posted in Construction Accident

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This is from a Seminar by The New York State Bar Association, Construction Site Accidents: The Trial of a Labor Law Case. The Seminar was developed by Howard S. Hershenhorn who was the over -all planning chair. In this segment Mr. Hershenhorn gives a demonstration of an opening statement on behalf of a worker injured in a New York Construction Accident. The full seminar is recorded and available for CLE Credits from The NYSBA.

For more information on New York construction accidents contact the New York Construction Accident Lawyers at Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf.

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In Parente v 277 Park Ave. LLC, decided June 25, 2009, The New York Appellate Division, First Department granted plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment under Section 240 of The New York State Labor Law.

The plaintiff was injured when he fell off a ladder he had placed on a desktop in an office leased by defendant Chase, while inspecting a malfunctioning booster fan over the desk. In rejecting the defendants’ argument that the work was only routine maintenance The Court held:

Labor Law § 240(1) imposes absolute liability on owners, contractors and their agents for injuries to workers engaged in the repairing of a building or structure that results from falls from ladders or other similar devices that do not provide the intended protection against such falls (see Orellano v 29 E. 37th St. Realty Corp., 292 AD2d 289, 290 [2002]). It does not, however, apply to routine maintenance that is not performed in the context of construction or renovation. Replacement of parts that routinely wear out is considered maintenance, outside the purview of this section (see Prats v Port Auth. of N.Y. & N.J., 100 NY2d 878, 882 [2003]). Where something has gone awry, however, requiring repair, § 240(1) is applicable (see Caraciolo v 800 Second Ave. Condominium, 294 AD2d 200, 201-202 [2002]; Franco v Jemal, 280 AD2d 409 [2001]).

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In Campuzano v. Board of Education of the City of New York, JJ Lyons Associates, Inc; Decided on August 12, 2008, The First Department reversed the denial of Plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment on Labor Law § 240(1) and granted the motion. The facts as set forth in The opinion of The Court were as follows;

“Plaintiff Joaquin Campuzano and a coworker, while performing asbestos abatement work, were removing a heavy duct from a ceiling by cutting it with an acetylene torch. They started this work on a scaffold, but Campuzano determined it was dangerous to work that way, and decided instead to set up a ladder adjacent to the scaffold. While Campuzano was standing on the ladder and holding the hoses for the torch, a portion of the duct fell, hitting him and the ladder and knocking him to the ground.”

In granting plaintiffs’240(1) Motion The Court held;

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In Bradley vIBEX Construction, et al. decided June 26th, 2008, The First Dept. reversed the lower Court’s decision denying plaintiffs’ motion to set aside a verdict for defendants and granted the motion and directed judgment be entered in favor of plaintiffs on the issue of liability pursuant to § 240(1), and remanded for a trial on damages and apportionment of fault among defendants.

The Court held that plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment was properly denied. It further held the denial of plaintiffs’ motion for a directed verdict on the issue of liability was proper as there was an issue of fact as to whether the alleged violation of § 240(1) proximately caused his accident. However, in granting plaintiffs’ motion to set aside the verdict The Court held;

“However, the motion court improperly denied plaintiffs’ posttrial motion to set aside the verdict and for judgment notwithstanding the verdict. Since the jury determined that plaintiff worker fell off the ladder, it could not have reasonably concluded, in light of the evidence, that the ladder was placed and used so as to give him proper protection in the performance of his work. Other than the accident report, which the jury clearly rejected, defendants and second third-party defendant failed to present any evidence controverting plaintiffs’ version of the accident, i.e., that the ladder had slipped on the plastic-covered floor. Furthermore, there was no evidence to suggest that plaintiff worker’s own actions were the sole proximate cause of his injury (see Bonanno v Port Auth. of N.Y. & N.J., 298 AD2d 269 [2002]).”
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In Morales v. D & A Food Service, et.al; June 25th 2008, The Court Of Appeals in reversing The First Depatrment’s dismissal of plaintiff’s Section 240(1) claim held;

“The order of the Appellate Division should be reversed, with costs, defendant Santomero’s motion for summary judgment denied, plaintiff’s cross motion for partial summary judgment on his Labor Law § 240 (1) cause of action against defendant Santomero granted and certified question answered in the negative.

Contrary to defendant’s argument, plaintiff’s work constituted an alteration within the meaning of Labor Law § 240 (1) (see Joblon v Solow, 91 NY2d 457, 465 [1998]). In light of our recent decision in Sanatass v Consolidated Inv. Co., Inc. (10 NY3d 333 [2008]), defendant’s contention that he lacks a sufficient nexus with plaintiff to support liability under section 240 (1) is without merit. Since plaintiff made a prima facie showing of entitlement to judgment as a matter of law on his section 240 (1) claim and defendant failed to raise a triable issue of fact in opposition thereto, plaintiff is entitled to partial summary judgment on liability. ”

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From amnewyork By David Freedlander;

Twenty of the city’s high-rise crane returned to operation last week, but many of them are on construction sites that have received dozens of complaints and violations for unsafe working conditions.

The complaints range from the mundane to the alarming, but in the light of two deadly crane collapses this spring, both of which occurred on construction sites with a history of violations, some say any infraction raises red flags.

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From The New York Times By WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM;

The city’s chief crane inspector was arrested on Friday and charged with taking bribes to allow cranes to pass inspection, the authorities said. He was also accused of taking money from a crane company that sought to ensure that its employees would pass the required licensing exam.

The man, James Delayo, 60, the acting chief inspector for the Cranes and Derricks Unit at the city’s Department of Buildings, oversaw the issuing of city licenses for crane operators. The case against him, announced by the Manhattan district attorney’s office and the city’s Department of Investigation, was filed just a week after the city’s second fatal crane collapse in less than three months. Read More.
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NEW YORK (AP) – Building department officials gathered for an emergency safety summit Saturday after the city’s second deadly crane collapse in recent weeks, while lawmakers warned of dangers in New York’s building boom – especially the 250 cranes still up in the sky.

“I don’t want to hear from more constituents that they’re afraid to sit on their couches,” City Council member Jessica Lappin said at a news conference near the site of the accident on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

She joined Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who called on the city to treat rising buildings as “a public safety crisis,” with the police and fire departments forming a task force with investigators and other experts to keep close watch on all construction.