Fullerton Beck Partner Victoria Ronemus prevailed in a New York Labor Law 240(1) action, successfully obtaining summary judgment on the plaintiff’s direct claims and a third-party action for indemnification against our client, an iron contractor.
The case arose when the plaintiff, a carpenter, fell one story while installing plywood atop metal joists, which he alleged shifted, causing him to fall and sustain serious injuries to his neck, back, shoulder, and knee, requiring surgery. He sued our client for alleged violations of New York Labor Laws 200, 240(1) and 241(6) for alleged claims of negligent installation of metal floor joists. In addition, the building owner and general contractor commenced a third-party action against our client for contractual and common law indemnification and breach of contract.
By conducting thorough investigation and depositions, Victoria was able to establish that our client was not responsible for the metal floor joists and in fact, the plaintiff’s employer was the responsible party. As a result, Victoria filed a motion for summary judgment dismissing the plaintiff’s direct claims, as well as the third party claims for contractual and common law indemnification on the grounds that: 1) our client was not a proper labor law defendant as they did not have the authority to direct or supervise the plaintiff, 2) was not responsible for site safety, 3) they did not cause or create the dangerous condition, and 4) the injury did not arise out of the scope of their work.
The court granted our motion in its entirety, finding that our client was not a proper Labor Law defendant. The court further dismissed the third-party action, as our client did not construct the scaffold, and the plaintiff’s accident did not arise out of our work.
This is an outstanding result for our client, as the injuries claimed in this case typically result in damages starting at $4.5-5 million.