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Appellate Division Revives Bridge Painters’ New York Construction Injury Case Arising from Boom Truck Accident

Legal News GavelIn any type of legal case, including a construction accident action, the difference between success and failure may be carefully interpreting the relevant law and persuasively presenting that argument to the courts. This is why experienced New York injury counsel can be so important in your lawsuit. One recent example of this was the injury action pursued by two bridge painters who were hurt in a truck accident. They won their appeal after convincing the Appellate Division that the boom on their boom truck was sufficiently high to constitute a potential violation of the Industrial Code.

The plaintiffs, Darren and Balthazar, were two men employed on a project to renovate and re-paint a bridge connecting Queens and the Bronx. On the day of their accident, the men were taking down a scaffold and loading it up on a boom truck to be transported to the other side of the bridge.

That’s where things went wrong. Shortly after they began to take off, the truck’s boom hit an overhead road sign and gantry, which caused part of the truck to swing into the air. The sign and gantry fell onto the bridge. The accident threw Darren and Balthazar from the truck and onto the roadway, which caused them to suffer severe injuries.

Darren and Balthazar sued for the damages they suffered, contending that the incident constituted a violation of several sections of New York’s Labor Law. In support of their case, the workers had an OSHA investigative report, which stated that Manny, the worker who drove the boom truck that day, drove some 700 feet with the boom raised in excess of 60 degrees.

Nevertheless, the trial court ruled against the workers, concluding that their incident couldn’t amount to a violation of Section 241(6) because it happened away from the work site. The Appellate Division reversed and revived the workers’ Section 241(6) claim. While the trial court was correct that, in order for injured workers to have a valid Section 241(6) case, they must establish that their construction accident took place at the work site, the trial court was incorrect that the facts in this case indicated that the crash’s location wasn’t part of the painters’ work site.

In this circumstance, the truck had only begun to drive away and was only 700 feet from where the men had been painting when the accident took place. In addition to rejecting the trial court’s conclusion on the accident location’s qualification as part of the work site, the appeals court also determined that “an issue of fact exists as to whether” the defendants in this case violated a section of Industrial Code regulations that governs mobile crane travel. The regulation forbids driving mobile cranes “with the boom so high that it may bounce back over the cab.”

Note that, in this circumstance, there wasn’t proof that the boom on Darren and Balthazar’s truck actually bounced back over the cab; instead, it hit a road sign. But, as the Appellate Division explained, if the boom was up so high that it could hit a road sign and gantry, that proof raised a triable issue. The regulation isn’t violated only when a boom actually bounces over a truck cab; it applies any time the boom is so high that it may bounce over the cab. The injured workers had enough to show that this regulation may have been violated, which meant that they could be entitled to damages under Section 241(6).

The diligent Queens crane accident attorneys at Newman, Anzalone & Newman have been, for many years, helping injured workers pursue fair recoveries for the harm they’ve 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

Surviving Your Opponent’s Motion for Summary Judgment in Your New York Construction Accident Case, New York Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, July 6, 2017

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