The rulings that the courts make, which then get published publicly, can be very educational – and not just to lawyers. These rulings can be instructive for anyone who might find themselves having a legal issue down the road. For example, say you’re a construction worker and you construct a rickety platform upon which to stand and do your job. The platform fails and you fall, suffering a serious injury. Can you sue successfully for compensation for your injury in New York, even though you were the one that put the platform together? As one recent ruling reminds us all, you quite possibly can sue and win in that kind of scenario, depending on the exact facts of your case. As always, to get the best and most customized advice for your exact circumstance, talk to an experienced New York City construction injury attorney.
In the case, D.C. was a construction contractor working at an upstate job site east of Albany. D.C. was a siding installer. At the time of the accident, D.C. was installing siding above a staircase that ran along the side of the building. The awkward location and small space where D.C. was required to work limited his options. There was a lift device but it wouldn’t fit. There was a “ladder jack” device but it was in use elsewhere. D.C. was not provided with a traditional scaffold.
Lacking those other options, the worker rigged a system using his A-frame ladder, a scaffolding plank and the top landing of the staircase itself. Neither the ladder nor the plank were anchored to anything. Unsurprisingly, the makeshift system didn’t work. As D.C. pushed the new siding into place, the plank shifted and slid from beneath him, causing him to crash to the ground, breaking his ankle.
After suffering this serious injury, the worker sued the owner of the rental property upon which he was working. Even though the accident occurred because the makeshift system of D.C.’s own making was woefully inadequate, that did not prevent him from winning his case on the issue of liability. The courts concluded that the worker was entitled to summary judgment (which meant that the court declared the defense to be liable even without holding a trial on liability) because the law was clearly violated. Section 240(1) of the Labor Law says that general contractors and property owners have a legal obligation to provide all workers with the proper safety protections they need to do their jobs and be safe from harm that would result from “elevation-related” risks.
The law also says that this legal obligation is not something that owners and general contractors can delegate to others. What does all that mean? That means that, if you fall (like D.C. did) because the property owner did not give you the tools and/or equipment you needed to do your job safely, then that property owner is liable for the injuries you suffer in a fall. It does not matter that you rigged up a badly inadequate makeshift system that failed. What matters is that you did so because you employer did not give you the proper devices you needed. When that happens, you are entitled to judgment and to compensation.
If you have been injured at your construction job, give yourself the resources you need to get the compensation you deserve. Include among those resources the knowledge and ability of the New York City construction injury attorneys at Arcia & Associates. Our team has many years of experience helping injured workers to get the positive results they need.
Contact us at (718) 651-4363 to find out how we can help you.
More Blog Posts:
Construction Debris Leads to a Successful Outcome For a New York Carpenter Pursuing a Construction Injury Case, Blog de Abogado en la Ciudad de Nueva York, 15 de Agosto de 2018
Proof of a Lack of Fall Protection Allows an Injured Demolition Man to Win His New York Construction Injury Case, Blog de Abogado en la Ciudad de Nueva York, 9 de Julio de 2018