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Construction Accidents

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Appellate Division, 2d Department Roundup: November 18, 2015 Edition

In this edition of the Roundup, employees at a local psychiatric hospital are attacked by a patient, and a dialysis patient falls off the scale during a weigh-in, as well as several motor vehicle accidents. The most exciting element was that the City was found to have constructive notice of expansion joists that were not flush with the pavement on the bike path of the Manhattan Bridge, allowing plaintiff's practitioners to sidestep at least one aspect of the prior written consent law. More, after the jump . . . 

Read more . . .


Monday, December 14, 2015

Three Workers Partially Buried at Williamsburg Construction Site

The experienced construction injury trial attorneys at Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty work night and day to protect the safety of construction workers as they do their jobs. Because New York has one of the toughest construction safety laws in the country, it should be enough to keep people safe. However, it's not. Everyday people are still being harmed by the careless and negligence of building owners and general contractors. Last month, a building collapsed, killing a construction worker. Reports abound about how inconsistent safety standards and insufficient Department of Building inspectors are putting lives at risk.

This morning at around 9 AM, at 146 Wilson Street in Brooklyn, three workers were buried under dirt and rubble when a retaining wall collapsed at their excavation site. They had to be rescued from the yard. One of the workers was so injured he had to be taken to Bellevue Hospital, while the others were lucky enough to have only minor injuries. There are no construction permits filed for that site, and the FDNY had to put in a complaint on its own.

Since the Department of Buildings is not doing their job, we have to step in to protect construction workers and help them and their families if they are injured. If you, or a loved one, is injured on the job at a construction site, you can contact us at (212) 425-0230 or at info@fkbeatty.com for a free consultation.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

2d Judicial Department, Appellate Division Roundup: November 12, 2015 Edition

In this edition of the Roundup, we have an interesting round of construction accident and motor vehicle cases, most of which shows the powerful extent of timely summary judgment motions to clear the air of issues. In a construction accident case, summary judgment removed most of the height-related issues but kept the key failure of the case. But in a few slip-and-fall on ice cases, the Court was relunctant to introduce habit evidence or find that the City had time to correct the icy crosswalk. More, after the jump . . . 

Read more . . .


Monday, November 16, 2015

1st Judicial Department, Appellate Division Roundup: November 5, 2015 Edition

In this edition of the Roundup, we're limited by only three personal injury related cases decided on November 5 - a medical malpractice, a workplace injury indemnification dispute, and a summary judgment motion on the slope of the interior floor of an apartment on a slip-and-fall.

Michael Ferrante v. Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Michael Ferrante is a "sandhog", someone who works in the tunnels beneath the city of New York. The law firm of Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty often represent construction workers and those who have suffered injury from construction accidents. Here, Mr. Ferrante is working on a project connecting Metro North Station with Pennsylvania Station. One of the defendants, Kelley Engineered Equipement, LLC, designed a transporter used in that project. Mr. Ferrante was asked to stand on top of the transporter while it was carrying a roadheader, or a machine used to mine the tunnel. The transported tipped over, and Mr. Ferrante was injured. While this was a motion for summary judgment for Kelley to get out of the case, Mr. Ferrante's immediate employer, Dragados-Judlaw, may have been aware that the roadheader would be unstable unless loaded with its boom arm configured to offset any off-side on the load. Therefore, Kelley was not able to get out of the case.

Julio Anthony Lopez v. Vincent Gramuglia, DPM

Dr. Gramuglia, a podiatrist, is alleged in this case to have failed to diagnose a condition called "deep vein thrombosis" or DVT, a medical condition that caused plaintiff's pulmonary embolism. Mr. Lopez, the plaintiff, is alleging medical malpractice against the defendant doctor. The Court sides with the doctor, finding that the doctor did deviate from care in failing to account plaintiff's risk factors for developing DVT, since there was not evidence of the risk factors for the case at bar.

Jorge DaSilva v. KS Realty, LP

This is a unique case, because it involves a tenant suing the landlord for personal injury due to defects within the plaintiff-tenant's apartment. In this case, the plaintiff alleged that the sloping condition in his apartment caused his desk chair to roll on the hallway floor, which caused him to fall. The defendant was able to defeat the case on summary judgment because he had an expert who gave an opinion that the 4% slope in the area where plaintiff allegedly fell was not a dangerous condition and was not a proximate cause of the accident. The plaintiff's expert failed to address how the slope was a proximate cause of plaintiff's fall from his chair.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Manhattan Building Collapses, Killing a Construction Worker

At about 10:30 in the morning last Friday, nineteen workers were demolishing a building at 25 West 38th Street in Manhattan. The workers were on the fourth floor of the building, taking the bricks down and stacking them on the floor. The owners, Fortuna Realty Group, had recently fired Metro Industrial Wrecking for the demolition project and hired Northeast Service Interiors, which held the Department of Building permit.

Nearby residents and office workers heard a loud crash, as if lots of scaffolding was collapsing on top of each other as the rear of the building collapsed. One of the workers was killed when a wooden joist crushed his head against a dumpster. Another was trapped for more than three hours inside the collapsed building before he was transported to Bellevue Hospital.

Last Tuesday, we wrote on this blog about the dangers of inconsistent safety standards and the dearth of DOB inspectors to keep workers safe. Organizations like the Law Reform Alliance of New York seek to end protections for construction workers on dangerous projects because they believe that New York doesn't need it. Organizations like the New York State Trial Lawyers Association fight to protect construction workers from dangerous projects and general contractors who seek to cut corners.

The attorneys at Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty work to help those who have been hurt on the job, especially construction and demolition workers. Se habla espanol, and have more than two decades' of experience as trial lawyers. Contact us at (212) 425-0230 or at info@fkbeatty.com.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

1st Judicial Department, Appellate Division Roundup: October 15, 2015 Edition

A short update, but unusual as it includes a split regarding a Labor Law motion. Check it out below:

Pedro Quinones v. Olmstead Properties, Inc.

 In this SPLIT opinion Labor Law 240(1) case, we will first address the facts, then the Court's findings and then the dissent's:

While painting over graffiti on a billboard, plaintiff lost his balance and fell. The billboard had a row of concrete blocks in front of it to prevent it from tipping over, and the plaintiff was standing on three of them to reach up to the top. He was loosening one of the straps that held the image to the frame so he could paint underneath it. He had been provided a cherry picker, a safety harness and landyard, and two ladders.

The Court found that the defendant had properly made a showing, by means of an expert, that the defendant had provided via testimony of an executive of the defendant's corporation that he had seen a worker using a cherry picker to change the billboard, and via expert submission that the plaintiff could have used the billboard's frameworks to tie off the landyard of the safety harness.

The dissent, however, found that the defendant executive's testimony didn't rise to the level of raising an issue of fact, as the testimony did not establish that the cherry picker that the executive had seen or the work that had been done using said cherry picker was the same as the plaintiff's situation. Furthermore, the dissent found as a matter of law that the expert's statements were conclusory as although the expert identified spots where the landyard could be tied off, the expert failed to include physical properties of those spots necessary to support plaintiff's weight if he fell and the steps he used to identify those spots. Therefore, the dissent found that the evidence adduced would not reach to the level of rebutting plaintiff's proof.

Robert McCullough v. One Bryant Park, et al.

This labor law and common-law negligence case involved a construction worker who was passing from an exterior roof to an interior room. He stepped into an uncovered "drain hole" and fell to the floor. The Court reversed the granting of summary judgment in favor of One Bryant against the plaintiff on two grounds. First, the doorway was considered a passageway for the purpose of proving a Labor Law 241(6) violation of 12 NYCRR 23-1.7(e)(1). Second, just because the defendants lacked supervisory control over plaintiff's work, they could not be dismissed from common-law negligence claims because the injuries arose from the condition of the workplace, rather than the method used in performing the work, and they failed to make a prima facie case showing that they lacked constructive notice of the uncovered drain hole.

Eduardo Velasquez v. MTA Bus Company

In this case, the plaintiff, on his bicycle, was struck when the defendant bus driver changed lanes. Even though the plaintiff was in the middle lane of traffic, and the bus driver was trying to switch to the left lane of traffic to pass the bicycle, by the defendant driver's own admissions it made a prima facie case of negligence and the plaintiff won on summary judgment.

Mark Walker v. Robert C. Whitney, III

In this threshold motion, the plaintiff's case was dismissed at the Supreme Court and affirmed by the Appellate Division. The defendant submitted reports of an orthopedist and neurologist who found full range of motion, and a radiologist which found degenerative diseases and no evidence of causally related injury. In opposition, the plaintiff failed to properly submit admissible evidence. The unaffirmed MRI findings, which would not be admissible anyways, failed to explain how mild hypertrophic changes of the AC joint could be explained by traumatic injury rather than degeneration. The medical records reviewed by defendant's experts in preparation for their exams were also properly held out. The only admissible evidence was a review by plaintiff's orthopedic surgeon shortly after his arthroscopy, which failed to provide measurements of the decreased range of motion in the left shoulder, and did not provide evidentiary support for a statement that plaintiff's shoulder condition was related to the accident, or address the defendants' experts that any shoulder injury was not due to ongoing pathology and degenerative changes.

 


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Inconsistent Safety at NYC Building Projects Causing Deaths, Daily News Reports

The attorneys at Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty are experienced with dealing with accidents and injuries that occur on construction sites. Thanks to the leadership and vision of New York's legislature, New York has some of the strictest rules protecting construction workers in the country. Even then, those rules are coming under attack, as more and more construction workers lose their lives.

The New York Daily News reported on Saturday that while the number of building permits has jumped 18% from 2011, the number of deaths has also climbed - as the number of building inspectors dropped. Eighteen workers lost their lives last fiscal year, against twelve the year before, as the number of building inspectors dropped by 6%. 

"Nine workers fell to their deaths, almost always at job sites where safety measures were nonexistent. Several were crushed to death by walls that weren’t properly braced. Improperly secured steel trusses rolled on top of another worker."

All of the above are height-related injuries that New York law has the most stringent protections for workers. The owners of the building sites, the general contractors, and the subcontractors may all be liable for a construction worker's injury on the job. It is extremely important for anyone who is injured while working at a construction site in New York City to contact experienced trial attorneys to discuss their rights and potential claims. The attorneys at Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty are available for a free consultation at (212) 425-0230 or at info@fkbeatty.com.



Thursday, October 1, 2015

1st Judicial Department, Appellate Division Roundup: September 29, 2015 Edition

The 1st Department is issuing a significant number of decisions against, but most of them on September 29, 2015 dealt with criminal appeals. However, there were a few cases involving personal injuries:

Golubowski v. City of New York, et al. and 150 Williams Street Associates, L.P. et al.

The plaintiff, a plumber, was dismantling pipes in a building owned by the defendant, 150 Williams Street. He was on a ladder, and a leaky overhead sprinkler system was dripping water down on top of him. The ladder became wet and slippery, and he slipped and fell and sustained personal injuries. The plaintiff won his summary judgment motion, because the defendants provided him the ladder, and the scaffold that the defendants already provided was in use by plaintiff's co-worker and unavailable for the particular project.

In re Jacobs v. New York State Division of Human Rights

On July 17, 2013, the New York State Division of Human Rights found that Mr. Jacobs had engaged in housing discrimination based on age and discrimination, and had caused mental pain and suffering and punitive damages to the woman that was discriminated against. In all, Jacobs had to pay $75,000.00 in damages, $20,000.00 to the woman he discriminated against. Furthermore, it was confirmed that compensatory damages for mental pain, suffering, and anguish in a housing discrimination case was proper.

PRACTICE TIP: Kenneh v. Jey Livery Service

This case arose out of a discovery dispute in a personal injury action. Jeh Livery Service had filed a motion demanding that plaintiff provide HIPAA-compliant authorizations for production of medical records relating to the plaintiff's pre-existing diabetic condition. The plaintiff, however, never put his diabetic condition at issue by arguing anxiety or other symptoms following the accident. The plaintiff only alleged injuries to his right knee, shoulders, and spine. Therefore, the 1st Department found that the discovery relating to the diabetic condition was improper and affirmed the denial of the defendant's motion.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Welcome to our New York Personal Injury Law Blog

Welcome to our new blog. We will be posting articles soon about personal injury matters, including auto accidents, construction accidents, slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice and wrongful death.


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