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An Injured New York Construction Worker Who Fell through a Hole in the Floor Achieves a Win in the Appellate Division
January 31, 2019 at 12:00 AM
by Newman, Anzalone & Newman, LLP
An Injured New York Construction Worker Who Fell through a Hole in the Floor Achieves a Win in the Appellate Division

For any construction worker injured on the job, but especially for those facing major damages, it is vital to be sure that you go about pursuing your court case the right way. It is essential that you file on time, that you include all of the legal claims allowed, and that you name as defendants all of the entities and people who might be liable and owe you compensation. Make a mistake on any of these and you may cost yourself a portion of the compensation you deserve–or you may cost yourself your case entirely.

It is also important to take advantage of the legal tools at your disposal. One of the key ones is summary judgment. A summary judgment decision that finds a defendant liable means that you have won on the question of liability without having to have a full trial on that issue, which can save you time, money and stress. For reliable aid in using these and other tools in navigating the legal process, be sure to retain the services of a knowledgeable New York City construction injury attorney.

For an example of successful navigation of a construction law case, there’s the lawsuit filed by L.S., who was a sheet metal worker working on a project in Manhattan. While working on the building’s sixth floor, L.S. fell through a hole in the floor and crashed all the way down to the fifth floor. The worker’s injuries were considerable, having hurt his spine, ribs, back, left thumb, left elbow, neck, teeth, both feet, both ankles and both shoulders.

Given the extensive nature of his injuries, L.S. very likely had a substantial amount of damages. The multiple injuries likely meant amassing massive medical bills. The harm he suffered inevitably cost him time at work. If any of those numerous injuries caused long-lasting or permanent damage, then L.S. might also be facing a long period out of work going forward.

In L.S.’s case, he sued the building’s owner, the general contractor on the project and one of the subcontractors on the job, alleging that each one was liable under Section 240(1) of the Labor Law and Section 241(6).

L.S. sought, and obtained, summary judgment against the owner, contractor and the subcontractor. The Appellate Division, in upholding that ruling, pointed out that under Section 240(1) site owners and general contractors have a non-delegable duty to provide all workers with the proper safety protections to safeguard them against “elevation-related” harms. These include falls through floors, like what happened to L.S.

The law may also allow you to succeed against some others, as well. L.S. won against the subcontractor because that entity had affirmatively assumed the duty of providing covers for all floors openings that were properly affixed to the floor. By taking on this responsibility, that subcontractor’s legal duty to workers like L.S. became the same as if it was the general contractor, so the worker was entitled to summary judgment there, as well.

After you’ve been hurt at your construction job, it is important to take certain decisive steps quickly. One of these is retaining skilled legal counsel. The experienced Queens construction injury attorneys at Newman, Anzalone & Newman are ready and equipped to help. We have been aiding injured construction workers for four decades. To put us to work for you, schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified attorneys. Contact us toll-free at 877-754-3099 or through our website.