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Construction Accident – Fall From a Ladder (2008)

Working on scaffolding and ladders is particularly dangerous and can lead to many different workplace injuries. Our client was a painter who was assigned to spackle a “tunnel” that ran from the ceiling of a utility room up to a skylight in the roof. Although he asked to use one of the “Baker’s scaffolds” on the job site, he was told that they were being used by carpenters and that he should use an A-frame ladder instead. While he was spackling the tunnel, the ladder fell from under him and he was seriously injured.

We filed suit against the building owner and the general contractor, arguing that our client was entitled to the protection of the Labor Law, which holds owners and contractors responsible for job site safety when workers are at risk of falling or being struck by falling objects. We later moved for “summary judgment” – a ruling that the defendants were completely responsible for the accident as a matter of law. The trial judge denied our motion.

We appealed, and the Appellate Division, Second Department agreed that our client was entitled to judgment as a matter of law, without a trial on the issue of liability. The case was later settled on terms favorable to our client.

Read the Reaber decision here.

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