Construction Accidents/Labor Law

Since 2008, the New York Department of Buildings has enacted more than 25 new laws designed to increase safety at construction sites. Virtually every day we all see—and sometimes pause to watch—workers risking their lives in building and maintaining bridges, skyscrapers, tunnels, as well as engaging in hundreds of other construction and renovation projects—both large and small. All too often contractors cut corners and engage in unsafe worksite practices to get the job completed "on time" without proper regard for the safety of the workers hired to perform labor or operate heavy machinery. We see window washers standing on flexible scaffolds hundreds of feet in the air; or crane operators lifting heavy materials to their co-workers perched on a temporary work platform high above them. These are dangerous and daunting jobs, and the legislature has passed numerous laws over the years to place the primary responsibility for maintaining a safe workplace where it belongs: on the owners, contractors, and their agents, not on the workers themselves.

Our White Plains construction accident attorneys are aggressive advocates who will fight for your right to monetary damages. Contact a Westchester County labor law attorney today.

Major types of construction sites must employ qualified individuals certified in site safety to protect workers as well as the public during construction. In addition, there are specific statutes such as Labor Law § 240 (1), the so-called "scaffold law," which provides special protections for workers whose job duties require them to work at heights. Similarly, if a worker can prove (usually through expert testimony), that he was injured because a specific provision of New York's Industrial Code was violated in connection with a construction, demolition or excavation project, he may be entitled to recover under Labor Law § 241(6).

KK&S has used these and other special statutory protections over the years to ensure that injured workers covered by these statutes receive all of the compensation and benefits that they are entitled to receive. It is often the case that a construction worker injured on the job is entitled to both worker's compensation benefits as well as additional compensation under New York's Labor Laws. If you are injured in a construction accident, call an experienced, top-rated personal injury attorney.

Sample Construction Accident/Labor Law Verdicts and Settlements

James Clark seriously injured his heels when he fell through an opening in the roof on which he was working, installing insulation board and rubber roofing on the roof deck. Although the roofers had covered each of the six skylight openings with plywood, Mr. Clark had to remove the plywood to make cuts to accommodate the skylights. The trial court denied our motion for summary judgment under the “scaffold law” noting that Mr. Clark himself had removed the plywood, but the appellate court reversed and granted us summary judgment under the provisions of the labor law. Clark v. Fox Meadow Builders Inc., 214 A.D.2d 882, 883 (2d Dep’t 1995). Thereafter the case settled for $600,000.
Javier Carmen v. Eleven Holdings, LLC., Dee & Dee of Bensonhurst, LLC., The Children’s Place Retail Stores, Inc., and Seaboard Construction Corp. of New Jersey, Index No. 8301/10 was a construction/labor law case that settled for $595,000. The case was brought under New York’s so-called “scaffold law” which provides special protections for workers whose job duties require them to work at heights. Mr. Carmen was injured when a ladder he was working on that had been placed on top of a painter’s scaffold, shifted, causing him to lose his balance and fall, severely injuring his neck. Mr. Carmen had tried all manner of conservative treatment including steroid injections in the C6-C7 area, but nothing was satisfactory. Cervical fusion surgery was recommended, but rejected by Mr. Carmen because he feared the surgery would not be successful or would make him even worse.
James Nardi v. Hickory Development Corp., Index No. 19714/04 (Westchester Co. Sup. Ct.) was also brought under New York’s Labor Law and sometimes referred to as the “scaffold law” as it protects workers on a construction job who have to work at heights. Mr. Nardi suffered a severe broken left ankle when the ladder he was working on collapsed. The case settled before trial for $175,000.