Court Grants Defendants Summary Judgment Dismissing Plaintiff’s Complaint and for Contractual Indemnification Against Subcontractor

In a decision dated June 27, 2012, Justice Julia I. Rodriguez granted defendants the City of New York, New York City Department of Environmental Protection and Yonkers Contracting Company, Inc. summary judgment dismissing the plaintiff’s complaint sounding in common law negligence and violations of Labor Law §§200, 240(1), 241(6). The Court also granted the defendants summary judgment on their third-party claims for contractual indemnification against subcontractor, J. Blanco Associates, Inc. The City contracted with Yonkers to perform the construction work at the Hunts Point Water Pollution Control Plant. Yonkers subcontracted with Blanco to engineer, fabricate and erect a pipe trestle for the Plant. The fabrication and installation of this system was then subcontracted by Blanco to Industrial Threaded Products who then subcontracted the installation work to Delta Installations, Inc. The plaintiff, an employee of Delta, claims that on August 6, 2004, he was walking to a company truck when he slipped, tripped and fell in an uncovered hole containing wood debris and rocks. The hole was approximately 12 to 16 inches deep. The Court dismissed the plaintiff’s Labor Law §240(1) cause of action because his accident involved a slip, trip and fall and his “duties did not implicate a gravity or elevation differential task”. Regarding the plaintiff’s Labor Law §241(6) cause of action, the Court determined that the Industrial Code Rules cited by the plaintiff were either unrelated to the work he was performing or too general. Regarding the common law negligence and Labor Law §200 causes of action, the Court determined that the defendants did not supervise, direct or control the plaintiff’s work or have notice of any dangerous condition which injured the plaintiff. With respect to the claim for contractual indemnification, in the subcontract agreement, Blanco agreed to indemnify the defendants for all claims and costs associated with the work under the subcontract including any part of the work that is further subcontracted. In light of the foregoing, the Court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment dismissing the plaintiff’s complaint and awarding them contractual indemnification against Blanco.

Cerverizzo v. The City of New York et al., Index No.: 15301/05 (Bronx Co. Sup. Ct., June 27, 2012)

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