In a decision dated October 6, 2017, the Hon. Lisa S. Ottley granted our clients, the owners and tenants of the premises under construction at 4 Metrotech Center, Brooklyn, New York, summary judgment dismissing the plaintiff’s complaint in its entirety. The plaintiff, a laborer employee of the general contractor, Plaza Construction, claimed injuries when he fell off a ladder. The plaintiff was performing cleaning activities when his foreman grabbed a ladder and instructed him to remove certain items hanging from the ceiling which were left over from the removal of HVAC ductwork by the demolition contractor. The foreman climbed the ladder and showed the plaintiff how to perform the task. He also supplied the plaintiff with all the hand tools needed for the job. During the course of extensive questioning over two deposition sessions, the plaintiff admitted that the ladder was in good working condition and defect free. He also admitted that in performing this task he moved the ladder on three occasions in the same area. The incident did not occur until the plaintiff had placed the ladder in the third spot. He again testified that the ladder was sturdy and did not move during the time he was using it. He claimed to have fallen after using two hands to yank a certain item free from the ceiling. The plaintiff brought claims against the defendants for common law negligence and violations of Labor Law §§200, 240(1) and 241(6). In denying the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment in its entirety and granting the defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint, the Court held that the defendants had met their prima facie burden and the plaintiff had failed to do so. The Court agreed with the defendants that there was nothing in the record to support the plaintiff’s claims of negligence and violations of the various Labor Law statutes. The court also found that the plaintiff had been provided with the proper equipment needed to successfully perform the tasks assigned. The plaintiff merely relied on a theory that because he was a construction worker and fell from a ladder the Labor Law was automatically violated. The Court agreed with the defendants that a more in depth showing was required including the specific facts surrounding the incident itself.
Newland v. New York City Industrial Development Agency, et al., Index No.1015/15 (Kings Co. Sup. Ct., Oct. 6, 2017)