March 22, 2013
Partners John Sparling and Christopher Ruggiero successfully defended a serious brain injury case where the Plaintiff alleged to have fallen from a four-foot A-frame ladder while cleaning and repairing a salt-corrosion chamber at work. The Defense team established that Plaintiff was not engaged in an activity contemplated and protected by the Labor Law 240 statute, but rather only the type of work integral to the carrying on of his employer's daily operation.
The labor law was intended to place the burden of worker safety on those entities that were in the best position to provide a safe place to work, e.g., a general contractor and an owner of a construction site. Here, the defendant owner, landlord and property manager, were not in such a position. The Defense team established that Plaintiff was employed in his normal capacity as a lab technician, was not a construction worker or on a construction site and the defendants derived no benefit from Plaintiff's use of the chamber or the internal operations of the employer-tenant. The Erie County Supreme Court agreed and dismissed the complaint in its entirety.
Nicholas Paslow and Alexandra Reimer were also instrumental to the victory.
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