Archive: December 20, 2010

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Triable Issues Remain as to Whether a Loose String Posed a “Tripping Hazard”
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To Establish an Elevation-Related Hazard, the Danger Must be Elevated in Some Way

Triable Issues Remain as to Whether a Loose String Posed a “Tripping Hazard”

Mott v. Tromel Constr. Corp., 79 A.D.3d 829, 912 N.Y.S.2d 685 (NY App. Div. 2010)

In Mott, the plaintiff was injured on an elementary school construction site when he tripped on a piece of string stretching into the hallway from a classroom.  He sued the contractor, the school, and a subcontractor that was allegedly responsible for placing the string as part of a flooring project.  The Appellate Division, Second Department, denied the defendant’s motions for summary judgment, finding that there were triable issues of fact regarding (1) whether or not the contractor had actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition, and (2) whether the string posed a “tripping hazard” within the meaning of New York’s local rules, whether the hallway was a “passageway” under the law, and whether the string was integral to and consistent with the work the plaintiff was performing.

To Establish an Elevation-Related Hazard, the Danger Must be Elevated in Some Way

Whitehead v. City of New York, 79 A.D.3d 858, 913 N.Y.S.2d 697 (NY App. Div. 2010)

In Whitehead, the plaintiff allegedly was injured when a load of steel tubes rolled out of a hoist when the bindings were removed; the plaintiff fell and was struck by two tubes.  He sued the general contractor and owner under New York’s labor law and common law negligence theories.  The owner impleaded the steel construction subcontractor for contribution and indemnification.  The Appellate Division, Second Department, denied plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, finding that the plaintiff was not subject to an elevation-related hazard since the steel tubes were at the same level as him.  The court also denied the third-party plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on the grounds that it was untimely submitted with no excuse offered for the delay.

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