Thomas P. Jaffa Secures Summary Judgment Win

On December 6, 2022, Thomas P. Jaffa secured summary judgment in favor of his electrical contractor client and defeated the third-party plaintiff’s motion as to the client in Supreme Court, Suffolk County.  Plaintiff’s Labor Law action alleged a fall from a scaffold as a result of the scaffold wheel becoming lodged into an opening on the floor. 

The Court found there was no showing in the record that the client controlled the activities of the plaintiff on the project.  Therefore, any claim that they were negligent pursuant to the Labor law and thus required to indemnify the third-party plaintiff must be dismissed. 

With respect to contractual indemnification, the Court agreed with Mr. Jaffa that to require indemnification, the Court would have to speculate who was responsible for the work giving rise to the injuries.  The plaintiff did not know and could not identify the hole through photographs.  Third-party plaintiff could not demonstrate who performed the alleged work.  Further, third-party plaintiff having failed to demonstrate any of the prime contractors’ (including the client) responsibility, third-party plaintiff asked the Court to find that the injury arose from each contractor because they worked in the room.  The Court correctly held that there is no provision in the contract that allows for this and third-party plaintiff did not cite any legal precedence for same.  As such, third-party plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment as to contractual and common-law indemnification and contribution was denied and the Court granted the motion of our client dismissing the claims of contractual and common-law indemnification and contribution. 

Finally, the Court dismissed the cause of action for breach of contract as Mr. Jaffa submitted documentation demonstrating that our client had procured insurance as required.