Court Dismisses Plaintiff’s Labor Law §200 and Common-Law Negligence Claims as to Defendant Owner and Grants Owner Common-Law Indemnification Against Employer in Case Involving Plaintiff’s Fall from Scaffold

In a decision dated January 6, 2023, the Hon. Mojgan C. Lancman of Queens County Supreme Court granted the motion of our client, defendant/property owner, Waterfront Resort, Inc., for summary judgment dismissing plaintiff’s causes of action pursuant to Labor Law §200 and for common-law negligence. The Court also granted Waterfront’s motion for summary judgment on its third-party claim for common-law indemnification against plaintiff’s employer, Wing Jay Construction, Inc. The plaintiff, while employed by Wing Jay on a project involving the demolition of an existing warehouse and the construction of a residential condominium complex at 109-09 15th Avenue, Queens, New York, allegedly fell from a scaffold and sustained a traumatic brain injury. Regarding the §200 and common-law negligence causes of action, the Court determined that the plaintiff’s accident did not result from any allegedly dangerous or defective condition at the subject premises, but rather, the means and method of the work. Additionally, it was also undisputed that Waterfront had exercised no supervisory control over the manner in which the plaintiff’s work was performed. Regarding the third-party claim for common-law indemnification, the Court found that Waterfront was entitled to indemnification from Wing Jay because Waterfront established that it was not negligent and its liability was purely statutory and vicarious.  

Yun Quan Gao et al. v. Waterfront Resort, Inc. et al., Index No. 707824/2018 (Sup. Ct. Queens Co., Jan. 6, 2023)

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This post was written by Sander Rothchild