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New York Construction Injury Cases Involving Single-Family Residences

construction workerIn your construction injury case, it is important to work with knowledgeable New York construction accident attorneys. In certain types of cases, such as injuries occurring while working on a single- or dual-family home, it may be more difficult to recover compensation. Your skilled counsel may, however, be able to assist you and allow you to recover even if you were hurt while working on a single- or dual-family home, since the law does not bar recovery in all of these types of circumstances. The case of one New York City construction worker demonstrates how.

The plaintiff, Jan, was a construction worker working on a job in Kings County. Specifically, Jan was working on the demolition of a home owned by the defendant, Phillip. According to the worker, the homeowner had instructed the worker not to throw debris out a window, but instead to throw it out a balcony that had no railing. That balcony stood 14 feet off the ground. According to the worker, his clothes became entangled with a protruding doorstop, and this caused the worker’s balance to shift. In the end, not only did the door go off the balcony and onto the ground 14 feet below, but also so did the worker.

The injured worker sued for violations of several sections of New York’s Labor Law, including 240(1) and 241(6). The homeowner moved for summary judgment. The basis for the homeowner’s request to throw out the case was an exception carved into Sections 240 and 241 making homeowners not liable if their properties were single- or dual-family residences and if the homeowner did not direct or control the work being done on the home.

In order to decide if a homeowner has directed or controlled the construction work being done on the property, the law requires the courts to focus upon “the degree to which the owner supervised the method and manner of the actual work being performed by the injured employee.” In Jan’s case, he had evidence that raised a viable claim that the defendant wasn’t entitled to the exception because he did directly supervise and control the work being done on the home. Specifically, according to the worker, the homeowner was the person who directly gave the instruction not to throw debris out a window but instead to toss it out the balcony with no railing.

The plaintiff won because the defendant lacked the necessary proof to persuade the judge that the homeowner wasn’t controlling and directing the work project. This made Jan able to defeat the homeowner’s summary judgment request. This outcome stood in contrast to a Nassau County case from earlier this year in which the injured worker was not successful. In that case, the homeowner did have proof that he did not control the construction project. When a defendant comes forward and presents this type of evidence, it is important to have proof that counters it. The plaintiff in that Nassau County case didn’t have the necessary proof and, as a result, was not successful.

For reliable advice and strong representation in your construction accident case, reach out to the experienced Queens construction accident attorneys at Newman, Anzalone & Newman. Our attorneys have been helping injured construction workers for many years as they pursue recovery for the damages they suffered. To schedule a free consultation with one of our qualified attorneys, contact us toll-free at 718-896-2700 or through our website.

More Blog Posts:

New York Construction Worker Wins Summary Judgment for Injuries Suffered as a Result of Falling Transformer, New York Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, Aug. 18, 2017

Injured Laborer Allowed to Proceed With New York Labor Law Case Arising from Fall in Area with Dust and Debris, New York Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, July 17, 2017

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