The plaintiff was a union-employed sheet-metal worker assigned to a building construction project in midtown Manhattan. While walking on the building’s roof, the plaintiff slipped and fell on a piece of plywood. The plaintiff sustained injuries to his knees and shoulders.
The plaintiff retained Hach & Rose, LLP, as counsel to represent him in a lawsuit against the building’s owners and the project’s general contractors. Hach & Rose, LLP, argued that the defendants violated the New York State Labor Law, specifically Labor Law Sections 200 and 241(6).
New York State Labor Law Section 200 places a general duty on property owners, employers, and contractors to protect the health and safety of employees while working in constructions sites. Furthermore, Section 241(6) extends the general duty and provides that all areas in which construction, excavation, or demolition work is being performed shall provide reasonable and adequate protections to workers in that construction site.
Hach & Rose, LLP, claimed that the plywood was used as a walkway for construction workers in order to avoid stepping on river rocks that were on the roof. The board was not secured and was worn by exposure to weather and constant wear and tear during the course of the project. “Under such circumstances, the defendants violated the general safety provisions of Labor Law § 200 and failed to properly safeguard the construction site as required by Labor Law § 241(6)” said Michael A. Rose, Senior Partner at Hach & Rose, LLP.
Defense counsels argued that the New York State Labor Law Sections contended by the plaintiff did not apply and that the plaintiff knew about the presence and condition of the boards on the roof and could have walked around them.
A pretrial settlement was negotiated by the parties and the defendant’s insurance agreed to pay $2,500,000 to compensate the plaintiff for his injuries and damages.