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11/1/2022 – Partner Mohammed Ayoub and Associate Lee D. Tarr win Appeal of Summary Judgment

The First Department affirmed the Lower Court's decision, granting an order for summary judgement for Central Construction Management, and dismissing plaintiff's Labor Law section 200, 240(1) and 241(6) claims, three weeks after hearing oral arguments.

In the case of Charles Felix Polonia v. 14 Sutton Tenants Corporation et. al., 2022 NY Slip Op 06093, Plaintiff was employed as a helper by the Third-Party defendant masonry contractor. He was working at a construction site in Manhattan and was injured while walking on a sidewalk bridge. The plaintiff alleged there was a two-foot height differential between the two sections of the sidewalk bridge. Plaintiff repeatedly referred to the height differential as a gap. While walking from one side of the sidewalk bridge to the other, Plaintiff tripped on a wooden plank. It was undisputed that the plank was not defective and had been properly installed.

The First Department upheld the Lower Courts decision dismissing plaintiff’s Labor Law §240(1) claims finding that “Plaintiff tripped forward while walking on one portion of the sidewalk bridge and was propelled forward onto the other portion of the sidewalk bridge. He did not fall into a gap or through an opening.” The First Department also disregarded Plaintiff’s insistence that a ramp would not have made his accident any less likely. In addition, the First Department found that Plaintiff’s Labor Law §241(6) claims were in application based upon photographs and other evidence presented by Mr. Ayoub and Ms. Tarr, and that the sidewalk bridge was in all respects in compliance with the Industrial Code. Finally, The First Department also upheld the dismissal of Plaintiff’s Labor Law §200 claims, finding that Central Construction Management did not have actual or constructive notice of a dangerous construction, and even if this matter was deemed a means and methods of work case, Central Construction Management “would still not be liable, as it did not actually exercise supervisory control over the injury-producing work.”

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