Fullerton Beck attorneys Jason Aaron and Michael Harrison won summary judgment in a matter filed in the Bronx County Supreme Court against a wholesale bakery, obtaining dismissal of the case in its entirety.
The plaintiff, our client’s employee, filed suit against his employer claiming that he had sustained serious injuries that required surgery from crossing a ramp on our client’s premises. Jason and Michael moved for summary judgment prior to discovery, arguing that the plaintiff’s claims were improper and barred by the exclusivity provisions outlined in New York’s Workers’ Compensation Law, and that the plaintiff’s sole recourse was to pursue a workers’ compensation claim. The plaintiff, however, asserted he was an independent contractor and therefore ineligible for workers’ compensation, even though a prior hearing with the Workers’ Compensation Board found him to be our client’s employee and awarded him coverage under our client’s workers’ compensation insurance.
In support of its motion for summary judgment, Fullerton Beck presented evidence, including the plaintiff’s paystubs from the defendant’s company and findings made by the Workers’ Compensation Board confirming that he was an employee. The plaintiff opposed by continuing to argue that he was an independent contractor and therefore not eligible for workers’ compensation, and in fact, refused to cash the checks sent to him. The court ultimately agreed with Fullerton Beck, finding that we were entitled to dismissal of all claims and rejected the plaintiff’s’ argument outright. The court held that the plaintiff was unable to refute the evidence supporting his employment status and agreed with our arguments in their entirety that the claims against our client were barred as a matter of law.
This is an excellent result in a notoriously tough venue for defendants, especially given that discovery was in the very early stages. The result also substantiates Fullerton Beck’s commitment to strategies aimed at obtaining optimal results for our clients at any stage of the litigation process.