MMG Associate, Gene Novak, won summary judgement dismissing claims for contractual and common law indemnity in case Cristian Piccone v. Metropolitan Transportation et. al. v. Island Foundation and WDF, Inc., Index number 156229/12. Plaintiff, an employee of third party defendant Island Foundations Corporation, alleges that he was injured when he fell into an open manhole at the Fulton Street Transit Center major construction project launched by the MTA.
Defendant MTA contracted with MMG's client, second third party defendant WDF, Inc., as general contractors to rehabilitate the 4/5 station platforms and the Dey Street Head House. MTA also contracted with Defendant PSJV as general contract for the Fulton Street Transit Center. PSJV hired plaintiff's employer Island. Both projects were located on Broadway. On the day of the alleged accident, plaintiff arrived at the subject manhole and observed an MTA employee and two WDF employees holding the manhole cover. Plaintiff took charge and intended to close the manhole due to pedestrian traffic. He was bumped in the process and fell into the hole.
MMG filed for summary judgment arguing that WDF did not owe a duty of care to the plaintiff; that WDF did not owe contractual indemnity as the accident did not arise out of its work; and that WDF did not owe common law indemnity as it was not negligent and had no authority to supervise or control the work allegedly causing the injury. The Court found that WDF had sufficiently proven that WDF owed no duty to plaintiff, WDF did not direct or control plaintiff's work and thus was not statutory agent for the purposes of imposing Labor Law liability. Additionally, the court found that WDF did not contribute to the happening of the accident and this all claims against WDF were dismissed.