TLSS attorneys Stephen Straus and Jeremy Monosov recently obtained summary judgment dismissing a personal injury action filed in New York Supreme Court, New York County. The plaintiff in Holton v. Sony Corporation of America, Index No. 108732/10, was an employee of a scaffolding contractor who allegedly sustained bodily injury while erecting a temporary overhead protection structure in the atrium of a midtown Manhattan office tower owned by TLSS’s clients. It was alleged that while standing on a steel beam running across the top of the unfinished structure, plaintiff was injured when he fell onto the beam, landing on his back. It was further alleged that defendants did not provide a hanging lifeline to which plaintiff could have attached his safety harness and which allegedly would have arrested his fall before he hit the beam.
Plaintiff commenced suit against TLSS’s clients and the property manager of the premises, alleging common law negligence and violations of New York Labor Law §§200, 240(1) and 241(6). These New York Labor Law provisions address jobsite safety and are particularly onerous for the defense. The statute substantially lowers the bar on a plaintiff’s burden of proof in cases against the typical defendants in construction site injury cases (i.e., owners, general contractors, subcontractors, etc.). See, e.g., N.Y. Labor Law §§240(1) and 241-a (plaintiff’s comparative fault not a defense to job site injury claims).
TLSS commenced a third-party action seeking contractual contribution and/or indemnification from plaintiff’s employer. Plaintiff thereafter moved for summary judgment on the causes of action asserted under N.Y. Labor Law §§240(1) and 241(6), arguing that the alleged failure to provide a lifeline violated both statutes and proximately caused his injuries. TLSS also moved for summary judgment dismissing all causes of action against its clients. The other defendants also sought dispositive relief.