As a construction worker, you are often called upon to perform a variety of tasks where reaching the area upon which you must work is complicated. Traditional devices like lifts or scaffolds may not fit in the space available. When that happens, you may be forced to “get creative.” However, what happens when the improvised device you set up fails, you fall and suffer injuries? Does the fact that you put together your own improvised device necessarily mean that you are out of luck when it comes to obtaining compensation? As one recent case from upstate shows, the answer is “no!” Never just give up; instead, always consult a knowledgeable New York City construction injury attorney about your situation.
In the case referenced above, D.C. was a construction worker whom D.D. hired to install siding on a rental property that D.D. owned. The siding that the property owner wanted installed was to go above a staircase that ran along the side of the building. The owner agreed to rent a lift that D.C. could use for the job, but lifts were too big to fit in the area where D.C. would be working. There was also a “ladder jack” device, but it was in use elsewhere and, in addition, it (like the lift) wouldn’t have fit in the tight space. The owner did not provide D.C. with a conventional scaffold.
Faced with this difficulty, the worker created his own device. D.C. set up his A-frame ladder and then took a scaffolding plank and ran that plank from a rung of the ladder over to the top of the staircase. Neither the ladder nor the plank was anchored to anything. As a result, when D.C. began pushing siding into place, the improvised device slid out from beneath the worker and he fell, breaking his ankle.
D.C. filed a lawsuit against the owner. As part of that case, he also asked the court to award him summary judgment, which (if granted) would mean t