Appellate Court Overturns Manhattan Judge
APPELLATE COURT OVERTURNS MANHATTAN JUDGE, FINDS THE DEFENDANT OWNER AND CONTRACTOR FAILED TO PROVIDE A CONSTRUCTION WORKER WITH PROPER SAFETY DEVICES
Toll Brothers latest NYC luxury building, 1110 Park Avenue located on the Upper East Side has apartments for sale starting at $18 million. One would think the building owner and contractor could afford to provide proper protection to the workers building that luxury apartment. Unfortunately, they did not despite repeated complaints by a construction worker and a Site Safety Manager about unsafe conditions at the project. As a result, that construction worker was caused to suffer life altering injuries.
When putting up a new building, temporary lighting is installed onto each floor. A ladder is needed for a construction worker to reach the ceiling to install the temporary lighting. The plaintiff was an electrical worker told by his foreman to put up the temporary lighting even though there were piles of construction debris on the floor preventing him from safely performing his work. The legs of the 8 foot ladder could not be securely placed because of the piles of construction debris, and the legs of the 6 foot ladder, while small enough to squeeze between some of the construction debris, was not high enough to allow the worker to safely reach the ceiling to perform his work.
This construction worker repeatedly complained to the Site Safety Manager of the project who said there was nothing she could do other than tell the Superintendent of the project. The Superintendent of the project failed to have the construction debris cleaned and never stopped the work. The plaintiff was left to pick one of the two unsafe options. The plaintiff chose to use the 6 foot ladder, but it tipped over while he was coming down from the top of the ladder, causing him to land onto the piles of wood and metal construction debris. No one was there to help him keep the ladder from moving or protect him from a fall.
Since that accident, the plaintiff has undergone 5 surgeries and remains unable to return to work. The plaintiffs attorneys, Brand Brand Nomberg & Rosenbaum, LLP (BBNR), made a motion to the lower court arguing the defendants violated the New York State Labor Law in failing to provide proper safety equipment and should be found responsible as a matter of law. The Manhattan Supreme Court judge presiding over the case, the Honorable Nancy M. Bannon, denied the motion and BBNR appealed. BBNR argued the appeal before 5 judges. Three weeks later, the Appellate Division by unanimous decision dated October 25, 2016, reversed Judge Bannons decision and found in favor of the plaintiff. The case will now go to trial on only one issue, what is the amount of money to fairly compensate the plaintiff for his injuries. A copy of the appellate decision reversing the lower court is annexed.
At BBNR, we fight hard to protect our clients rights. Not only do we litigate all our own trials but also our own appeals when we believe a decision by a judge is contrary to the law.