June 1, 2023
On March 21, 2023, our firm obtained summary judgment at New York State Supreme Court, New York County against plaintiff, an asbestos inspector, who was responsible for inspecting cables present to determine whether asbestos was present and required abatement prior to commencing a rehabilitation project. Our office represented the contractor retained to replace any damaged cables once the inspection and testing determined that no asbestos was present. Plaintiff fell from the catwalk upon which he was walking to get to the access panel and sustained various personal injuries.
Plaintiff claimed that the inspection was part of the project and that our client was responsible pursuant to the project contract to ensure that the manhole/closet in which he was working was safe. We countered that the inspection was a condition precedent to the start of the work and plaintiff’s testimony that no contractor was permitted to enter the manhole/closet until he cleared it for entry.
The Court agreed with our argument that the asbestos inspection work performed by plaintiff was not protected by Labor Law section 240(1) in accordance with Martinez v. City of New York, 93 N.Y.2d 322 (1999) and further found Labor Law sections 241(6) and 200 inapplicable to the work and the role of our client, respectively.
This case was handled by our firm’s Bob Martin.