Christopher L. Parisi recently obtained summary judgement in a New York Labor Law case in Kings County. GVK’s client allegedly served as the general contractor for a residential construction project in Brooklyn. Plaintiff testified that after installing a stacked washer-dryer unit and rolling it into a cabinet, he realized he mistakenly left the power cord on top of the unit. The washer-dryer unit was on wheels, and the power cord would have been accessible if plaintiff rolled the unit back out of the cabinet. Instead, plaintiff reached the cord by flipping over an empty bucket and standing on it, then slipped and fell backwards. Plaintiff also testified that his foreman had refused to provide him with a ladder to perform installations.
Plaintiff claimed injuries to: his head, spine, right shoulder, right forearm, right wrist, right leg, and right foot. He underwent surgery to his back, right shoulder, right wrist, and right foot. He alleged total disability. Plaintiff’s complaint alleged claims pursuant to New York Labor Law sections 200, 240, and 241(6), as well as common law negligence. At the close of discovery, plaintiff and all defendants moved for summary judgment. In support of their motion, plaintiff had an affidavit from an expert witness who claimed that plaintiff required a ladder for the subject task.
In granting summary judgment to the defendants, the court ruled that the plaintiff was the sole-proximate cause of his accident. Specifically, the court determined that plaintiff could have safely completed the installation by rolling the washer-dryer unit away from the wall, and that “he did not need a ladder and he should not have stood on a plastic bucket”. Plaintiff’s complaint, and all claims, were dismissed in their entirety.