One of the legal bases that construction workers can use to seek compensation in court is something nicknamed the “Scaffold Law.” That statute is something that protects workers from injuries caused by “elevation-related” risks of harm and inadequate protection from those risks, whether the accidents involve scaffolds or not. This can include things falling on (and injuring) a worker or a worker suffering an injury in a fall.
That law also says that there are two people/entities that have a “non-delegable duty” to ensure that all workers receive the protection they need from fall injuries or falling object injuries. (“Non-delegable duty” means that the person/entity cannot escape responsibility by saying “I assigned that obligation to someone else, so I’m not liable.”) Those two are the general contractor on the project and the owner of the job site. However, as most anyone in New York knows, many places are not occupied by their owners; they’re leased and are occupied by a tenant. If that’s the circumstance at the construction site where you suffered your injury, would you know what to do? One of the first things you should be sure to do is to reach out to an experienced New York City construction accident attorney.
For an illustration of a scenario where you can sue a tenant, look at the case of C.R., a man who worked construction in Nassau County. C.R. was reportedly injured while doing sheetrock work to soundproof a wall that divided sports complex from a law office. As a result of C.R.’s on-the-job accident, he suffered significant injuries.
As C.R.’s case showed, you may be able to pursue the building’s tenant if you have the right evidence. In addition to the general contractor and the property owner, the law also holds anyone who legally qualifies as an “agent” of the general contractor or the owner potentially liable. Often, this legal concept allows injured workers to pursue entities like a subcontractor at a job site that signed a contract promising to be responsible for ensuring safety at the site.
In addition, the courts in New York have ruled that tenants may possibly be liable and owe compensation to an injured worker if the tenant either (1) signed the contract for the work that led to the worker’s injury or (2) controlled and supervised the work. In C.R.’s case, there was evidence that possibly demonstrated the sporting complex tenant may have contracted for the soundproofing work. If you were in a situation like C.R. and had evidence like his, you would have an arguable claim that the tenant was one of the entities liable for the harm you suffered.
In other words, the answers to the questions “who should I sue in my construction injury case?” and “how should I go about pursuing that lawsuit?” may have distinctly different answers depending on the precise facts of your situation. To be sure you are getting the advice and advocacy you need for your specific needs, contact the knowledgeable New York City construction accident attorneys at Arcia & Associates. Our team has a long track record of successfully handling construction injury cases and helping injured workers get the compensation they deserve.
Contact us at (718) 651-4363 to find out how we can help you.