Partner Patrick W. Kenny, Esq. recently won summary judgment dismissing all of plaintiff’s Labor Law claims and his common law negligence claim against our client’s who were the general contractor, owner and managing agents with respect to a renovation construction project in Manhattan.
Plaintiff who was a union member laying vinyl base at the project claimed that an unsecured refrigerator fell on him causing career ending injuries when he came in contact with it because it was not removed from his work area prior to his beginning work on the date in question. He claimed he would never work again and that the refrigerator constituted improperly stored materials on the job site that were unsafely secured.
Mr. Kenny argued that all aspects of the Labor Law did not apply to this matter and that based on science and math, with the use of a professional engineer, this accident could not have happened in the manner plaintiff testified it did. The Court agreed and found that our clients did not supervise and control plaintiff’s work, dismissing the common law negligence and Labor Law 200 claims; that the refrigerator was not located in a passageway or other thoroughfare, dismissing the Labor Law 241(6) claims; and that the refrigerator did not pose a risk that Labor Law 240(1) is designed to protect, dismissing that claim as well. Furthermore, the Court agreed with Mr. Kenny and his expert that if the accident occurred as plaintiff testified, that based on math and physics plaintiff’s testimony was incredible as a matter of law because when force is applied to an object on wheels that is on a finished concrete floor, the object would move in the direction the force is applied to it, or away from the plaintiff when he came in contact with it, and not down on him.
This was an excellent summary judgment win which will save our clients and their insurance carriers a lot of money in avoiding a trial. Moreover, it demonstrates that the attorneys at Barry McTiernan & Moore are always striving to find the best defense possible for our clients.