Archive: December 13, 2007

1
No Summary Judgment on Labor Law Claims Regardless of Whether Plaintiff’s Work Was Performed in Furtherance of Contract
2
Subcontractor Liable for Damages Caused by Equipment It Was Contractually Obligated to Provide at Construction Site
3
Construction Manager and Architect Not Liable for Construction Defects Where There is No Contractual Relationship with Plaintiff

No Summary Judgment on Labor Law Claims Regardless of Whether Plaintiff’s Work Was Performed in Furtherance of Contract

Butt v. Bovis Lend Lease LMB, Inc., 2007 WL 4260519 (N.Y. App. Div. 2007 Dec. 6, 2007)

In this case, plaintiff sued for common law negligence and Labor Law violations, seeking to recover for injuries allegedly sustained when he fell from ladder while plastering a ceiling beam of an interior stairwell at a public school.  Defendants included the City of New York which owned the premises, the Board of Education which operated and maintained the premises, the general contractor, and the construction manager.  Defendants moved to dismiss the Labor Law violations on summary judgment, arguing that the work the plaintiff was performing when he was injured was outside the scope of his contract, and thus was not covered by the Labor Law.  The court denied the motion, finding that such a defense only applied to the benefit of parties who did not have authority to supervise or control the work at issue.  The court explained that such a defense would not apply to the owner’s liability because injury to a worker may not be circumscribed by contract.  Further, conflicting evidence had been presented as to whether the work was outside the scope of the contract., and so the issue was not capable of resolution on summary judgment. 

Subcontractor Liable for Damages Caused by Equipment It Was Contractually Obligated to Provide at Construction Site

Urbina v. 26 Court St. Assocs., LLC, 847 N.Y.S.2d 67 (N.Y. App. Div. 2007)

This case involved causes of action for negligence, violations of Labor Law §§ 200, 240(1) and 241(6), and loss of consortium brought by an electrician, Urbina, and his wife.  Plaintiffs sought to recover damages for injuries sustained when a platform upon which Urbina was kneeling collapsed at a construction site.  That platform had been installed by the drywall subcontractor, R&J Construction Corp. for its own use.  Plaintiffs brought claims against the owner of the premises, the lessee of the premises, and R&J.  The issues on appeal involved the reasonableness of the damages awarded to plaintiffs, and contractual indemnification between defendants. 

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Construction Manager and Architect Not Liable for Construction Defects Where There is No Contractual Relationship with Plaintiff

Oates v. Larkin, 2007 WL 4442361 (Mass. Super. Ct. Dec. 5, 2007)

In this case, the Superior Court considered motions to dismiss brought by multiple defendants.  The case arose out of a large-scale condominium construction project.  Plaintiff was president of the association of unit owners and the defendants bringing motions to dismiss were the developer, its board of managers, the construction manager and the architect (who sought to join the motion to dismiss filed by the construction manager).  The developers’ and managers’ motions to dismiss were denied, provided that plaintiff complied with an order to amend the complaint.  The motion to dismiss by the construction manager was allowed in part, denied in part and the architect’s motion to join was allowed.
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