Dolce Panepinto Scores Two Appellate Court Victories in Labor Injury Cases

April 2nd, 2015


Generally speaking, in New York State, a party to a civil lawsuit unhappy with the decision of the trial court can appeal to the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division as a matter of right. The New York State Appellate Division Fourth Department, located in Rochester, New York, has appellate jurisdiction over the Eighth Judicial District which encompasses Erie County.

Recently, the Fourth Department heard, and rendered decision on, two appeals arising under the New York State Labor Law. The New York State Labor Law requires owners and general contractors to provide employees with a safe place to work. Specifically, New York State Labor Law section 240(1) mandates that owners, general contractors, and their agents sufficiently and properly protect workers on a construction site from elevated hazards, such as falling from a height or being struck by a falling object, by providing, placing, and operating safety devices to prevent injury.

On February 6, 2015, the Fourth Department affirmed the decision of the Court of Claims which found, after trial, that the defendant violated Labor Law section 240(1) and thus was 100% liable for our client’s injuries. Our client, a union painter, sustained serious injuries when he was struck on the head and neck by a steel rigging cable which had fallen from a work area positioned above him. The Fourth Department held that the defendant’s failure to provide a safety device, such as a debris net to catch falling objects, was the cause of the accident and injuries. The appeal was written and argued by associate, Jonathan M. Gorski.

On that same date, February 6, 2015, the Fourth Department affirmed another decision under Labor Law section 240(1). Our client was injured when the upper section of an extension ladder fell and struck him on the hand and wrist. The ladder was equipped with locks to prevent this exact type of accident however, the ladder was stored outside the night before and the locks were iced-over. On motion, the Supreme Court found the defendant 100% liable for our client’s injuries. The Fourth Department agreed and unanimously affirmed. The appeal was written and argued by partner, Sean E. Cooney.

Dolce Panepinto fights tirelessly for injured workers and their families to hold unsafe construction owners and contractors responsible. Whether your case is being fought at the trial level or on appeal, you can count on the team at Dolce Panepinto to vigorously advocate on your behalf. If you or someone you know has been injured on a construction site, it is important to contact us immediately so that we may protect your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at 716-852-1888 for a free case evaluation.