Fullerton Beck attorney Angelo Bianco prevailed in a New York Labor Law case on behalf of a Manhattan building owner in the Bronx County Supreme Court. The case arose out of injuries sustained by the plaintiff, the building’s superintendent who worked for the tenant homeless shelter, as a result of falling from a ladder while replacing a hard-wired smoke detector.
Angelo filed a summary judgment motion, holding that the plaintiff sustained his injuries while handling “routine maintenance” of the building, not a construction-related “repair” as specified in the Labor Law. He argued that the replacement of a malfunctioning smoke detector was a simple job that required only one person and could be completed in a matter of minutes. Moreover, as the plaintiff performed this task on a daily basis, per his own testimony, it was clearly part of his everyday maintenance duties as the super of the building. The work did not require any specialization or significant physical change to the electrical systems of the building and was being performed in a non-construction and non-renovation context. The court agreed and granted the motion for summary judgement, dismissing the case in its entirety.