Vigorito Barker Porter & Patterson Successful in Obtaining Partial Summary Judgment in New York Labor Law Action

On September 12, 2017, VBPP obtained partial summary judgment in Supreme Court, New York County (Hon. Ellen M. Coin, A.J.S.C.) in LaTorre v. Icon Interiors, Inc., et al., in a suit involving claims of Labor Law §§ 200, 240(1) and 241(6). We filed a motion for summary judgment seeking summary judgment on all claims, and indemnification from the co-defendant and third-party defendant/employer.

The plaintiff was working on an A-frame ladder to install a sprinkler head, and after completing his work he descended the ladder. After descending the ladder, plaintiff took a step back and tripped over a dolly. The evidence confirmed that the dolly was placed in the accident location sometime during the five minutes plaintiff had been working on the ladder. Plaintiff had no knowledge of how or when the dolly came to be placed behind his ladder, but was adamant that it was not present when he began his work.

The Court dismissed Plaintiff’s common law negligence and Labor Law § 200 claims, finding that there was absolutely no showing that the building owner, tenant or general contract placed the dolly in plaintiff’s work area or, similarly, that any of them had notice of the dolly’s presence there prior to the accident.

With respect to plaintiff’s Labor Law § 240(1) claims, the Court agreed that the accident clearly did not involve a gravity-related risk, as plaintiff had descended the ladder and then tripped. As such, the Court dismissed all claims pursuant to Labor Law 240(1). Questions of fact remained with respect to Labor Law 241(6).

Finally, we obtained summary judgment on our client’s claims for contractual indemnification against plaintiff’s employer (third-party defendant) and co-defendant (the entity which owned the dolly) on behalf of the general contractor. Despite some unfavorable testimony, the Court agreed that its subcontractors owed contractual indemnification for all claims arising out their work, and that as a matter of law, there was no evidence of negligence by the general contractor.