Construction Accident (2017)
Our client was a marble setter who was hurt while at work on a construction site. His employer was a subcontractor on the project, which was new construction of a 30-story building. The project supervisor instructed our client to remove his employer’s materials from a room that was being used for storage. While doing so, he tripped and fell over a stack of metal studs that was left by another contractor. Construction-site accidents — including falls, falling debris, overexertion, ladder and scaffolding incidents, machinery and vehicle accidents, and electrocution — are among the most common causes of on-the-job injuries.
In this case, the owner and general contractor argued that our client was not protected by the Labor Law or by the Industrial Code, which prohibits tripping hazards on construction sites. They argued that a storage room is not part of the construction site. Other courts had agreed with this theory, and the trial judge dismissed the case.
We appealed the judge’s decision, arguing that areas where construction materials are stored are part of the construction site and are covered by the Labor Law and the Industrial Code. The Appellate Division, First Department, agreed, reversing the judge’s decision and reinstating the case, which was later settled on favorable terms.