Construction Site Falls
When a worker gets injured by falling into a trench on a construction site, liability may be more of a hurdle than most people think. There are several facts surrounding the accident that will determine whether the contractor or property owner has liability. One of the most interesting points of contention is whether covering the trench to protect the workers is inconsistent with an integral part of the job. This would mean that covering a trench is not necessary if it would frustrate the purpose of the construction job itself. The Court in Salazar v. Novalex Construction Corp., 18 N.Y.3d 134, 960 N.E.2d 293 (2011) gives us this conclusion. Industrial Code violations necessary for assigning liability in certain labor law claims may depend on whether the uncovered trench is deemed to have been necessary to complete the job.
Obviously, there are other types of falls that can cause injuries on a construction site. All falls do not involve trenches. It is important to discuss the specifics with an attorney as soon after an accident as possible to put together a plan to prepare your case for litigation. Time can be a major factor in preparing a case because evidence can be lost and or destroyed over time. Construction sites are dynamic and demand immediate investigation in order to protect your interests. Delaying can harm or even destroy your case. Knowing exactly what information and investigation is necessary should be left to the expertise of your labor law attorney. After discussing the investigation strategy with your labor law attorney, you will understand the value of the role the attorney plays in labor law litigation.
Labor Law Attorneys
If you or a loved one are injured in a construction site accident, please call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at (516) 858-2620 to speak to a labor law attorney.
Loaned Servant Defense
Some Labor Law claims arise in situation where an employer allows their employee to work under the control or direction of another person or entity. The employee is injured while working under the direction of the other person or entity. Worker’s Compensation Law can function to prohibit the employee from suing either her employer or the person/entity under whose direction the employee was operating. This scenario can be raised as a defense to defeat certain Labor Law claims. It is known as the “Loaned Servant” or “Borrowed Employee” doctrine.
Labor Law Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident, please call The Law Firm of Vaughn & Weber, PLLC at (516) 858-2620 to speak to a Labor Law attorney today!
Injured on Construction Site
Labor Law §240(1), sets forth,
“All contractors and owners and their agents…shall furnish or erect, or cause to be furnished or erected for the performance of such labor scafolding, hoists, stays, ladders, slings, hangers, blocks, pulleys, braces, irons, ropes, and other devices which shall be so constructed, placed and operated as to give proper protection to a person so employed.” (Emphasis added).
If you are injured due to a safety device not specifically listed in the statute, you may still be covered by the term “…and other devices.” The New York Court of Appeals has taken the stance that this statute is to be construed liberally so as to fulfill the legislatures intention in enacting the statute. .Zimmer v. Chemung County Performing Arts, Inc., 65 N.Y.2d 513, 493 N.Y.S.2d 102 (1985).
Labor Law Attorneys
If you or a loved one have been injured in a construction accident due to the lack of a safety device, call The Law Firm of Vaughn & Weber, PLLC at (516) 858-2620 to speak to a Labor Law attorney today!
Gravity and Construction Sites
The obvious thought that comes to mind when thinking about how gravity can play an important role in construction site injuries is a construction worker falling to the ground from an elevated position. An equally important and equally dangerous scenario arises when objects fall from an elevated position. The New York Courts have placed an emphasis in ensuring that adequate safety devices are employed when hoisting or lifting materials so that the materials remain secure and the danger to the workers below is decreased significantly. Rocovich v. Consolidated Edison Co., 78 N.Y.2d 509, 577 N.Y.S.2d 219 (1991).
In a perfect world, proper safety devices would always be used on construction sites. In the real world, however, construction companies are focused on maximizing profits. This means that timelines must be followed and deadlines must be met. Sometimes in all the haste, safety protocol and procedures are ignored. The New York Courts have taken an interesting perspective on the harm caused by falling objects on a job site. In Runner v. N.Y. Stock Exch., Inc., 13 N.Y.3d 599, 604, 895 N.Y.S.2d 279, 282 (2009), the Court of Appeals turns the focus of whether “..the harm flows directly from the application of the force of gravity to the object.” Under these guidelines, actually being struck by the object may not even be a prerequisite to a cause of action.
Labor Law Attorneys
If you or a loved one have been injured in a construction accident, please call The Law Firm of Vaughn & Weber, PLLC at (516) 858-2620 to speak with a Labor Law attorney today!