Dupée & Monroe Wins Summary Judgment for Family of Construction Accident Victim
Construction is a dangerous industry. More workers are killed in construction accidents nationwide than in any other job. New York law recognizes how important construction is to the state economy, while understanding the dangers inherent in the profession. The risk is amplified when general contractors and property owners cut safety corners to save themselves a buck. If a construction worker is hurt or killed while on the job, the worker and their family deserve just compensation.
Dupée & Monroe is proud to announce a massive victory for one of our clients, the family of a victim who suffered a fatal accident on a worksite in Orange County. The court granted our motion for summary judgment against the property owners and general contractor who failed to provide proper safety protection for the accident victim. Although nothing can fill the hole created by the loss of a loved one, our clients will at least obtain compensation and justice for the devastation they have suffered.
If someone you care about has been hurt on a construction site in NYC or the Hudson Valley, talk to an experienced and dedicated New York construction accident lawyer at Dupée & Monroe.
New York’s Scaffold Law
New York Labor Law § 240 establishes that property owners, general contractors, and their agents are responsible for providing a safe work environment. This duty cannot be delegated. Owners and general contractors cannot cut corners on construction sites to save money; they must provide proper safety equipment, installations, and training for construction workers operating on the site. As stated by the court in our case: “The purpose of the Labor Law is to place the ultimate responsibility for safety practices on owners and contractors instead of on workers, who as a practical matter lack the means of protecting themselves from accidents.”
Also known as the “Scaffold Law,” § 240(1) gives construction workers the right to sue property owners and general contractors for any gravity-related accidents that occur on their sites as a result of safety violations. If a worker’s fall from scaffolding, a ladder, or other elevated surface was caused by lax safety protocols, the owner and general contractor are liable to the worker for any damages caused. In the event of a fatal accident, the right of action passes to the estate and surviving family members.
Court Grants Summary Judgment for Our Client’s Labor Law § 240(1) Claim
Our clients’ family member was working on a roof repair job in Wallkill, in Orange County. While on the job, he fell through a snow-covered skylight into the vacant warehouse below. He passed away from his fall-induced injuries. On behalf of our clients–the surviving family and estate of the decedent–we brought a Section 240 lawsuit against the owner of the property and the contractor hired to perform the roof work.
We filed for summary judgment to establish our clients’ right to recover compensation as a matter of law. We argued that the decedent’s fall was proximately caused by a lack of proper safety devices. Ultimately, the court agreed. The victim “was not provided with necessary protection from the gravity-related risk of the work,” and that “absence of appropriate safety devices was the proximate cause of Plaintiff’s injuries and death.”
The court rejected the defendants’ arguments attempting to put the blame on the victim for his fall. There was no “evidence presented that Plaintiff/Decedent was a recalcitrant worker, or that he deliberately refused direct instructions to use a safety device which was available, visible and in place at the work site.” It was the defendants’ failure to provide proper safety equipment that led to the accident.
The defendants violated their duties under Section 240, and our clients lost a beloved family member as a result. The court ruled our clients are entitled to recover as a matter of law; all that remains is to determine the amount of compensation they should receive. The personal injury team at Dupée & Monroe is pleased to have helped bring some measure of peace and justice for our clients, knowing that they will be compensated for the tragic loss they have suffered.
If You’ve Been Injured in a Construction Accident, Dupée & Monroe is Here for You
If your loved one was killed in an accident or if you need help getting medical treatment and compensation for your injuries after a serious accident, whether your accident was caused by lax construction safety standards, a negligent driver, defective road design, or other causes, contact the diligent and successful Goshen personal injury lawyers Dupée & Monroe for a free consultation at 845-294-8900.