Court Grants Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment Dismissing Complaint

In a decision dated May 4, 2011, Justice Sidney F. Strauss granted the motion for summary judgment brought by the defendants, an owner and construction manager, seeking a dismissal of the plaintiff’s complaint containing causes of action for common law negligence and violations of Labor Law §§200 and 241(6).  The plaintiff, a concrete laborer, was using a come-a-long and was raking concrete. The floor where he was working was constructed of beams with Q-deck on top and then two layers of rebar on top of the Q-deck. To pour the concrete, several sections of eight-foot hose were connected to each other with clamps. The cement was supplied by a cement truck and pumped up through the hoses. After a section of the floor was poured, the laborers would remove the clamps that held the sections of hose together and the hoses would then be carried to the other side of the floor for washing. Just prior to the accident, the hose had been broken apart by one of the plaintiff’s coworkers. The plaintiff picked up an eight-foot section of hose and hung it over his right shoulder. Part of the those then went through the first level of rebar and became caught in the second level of rebar. While holding the hose with both arms wrapped around it, the plaintiff tried to yank the hose at least five times to free it. The plaintiff then felt something pop in his back and he fell to the floor.  The Court dismissed the common law negligence and Labor Law §200 causes of action because the plaintiff’s claims implicated the means and methods of his work and the owner and construction manager did not supervise, direct or control the plaintiff’s work or have notice of any allegedly hazardous condition. Regarding the cause of action for Labor Law §241(6) premised upon violations of Industrial Code Rules 23-1.5, 23-1.7(b)(i) and 23-2.2, the Court determined that the defendants established that the Rules were either general safety provisions or not applicable to the facts of the case.

Squerciati v. The New York Times Building LLC et al., Index No.: 22535/08 (New York Co. Sup. Ct., May 4, 2011)

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