Applying the Court of Appeals' (New York State's highest court) recent decision in Runner v. New York Stock Exchange, a Bronx judge recently awarded judgment as a matter of law to the surviving family of a construction worker on his personal injury and wrongful death claim.

In Massa v. NYC Economic Development Corp., the plaintiff-decedent construction worker was tragically killed when the Bobcat Skid-Steer Loader he was operating fell 26 feet to the ground after the Bobcat became entangled with something attached to the beam that it was trying to move off the side of the building. In the process, the decedent was partially thrown from the Bobcat.

In seeking summary judgment, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendants had violated Labor Law §240(1), contending that the defendants were liable because the plaintiff-decedent's accident had been caused by the inadequacy of the defendants' protective devices to shield him from harm directly related to the "application of the force of gravity to an object or person."

Not surprisingly, the Court agreed, and sided with the plaintiff, finding the defendants liable as a matter of law. Now the case will proceed on damages alone.
Jonathan Cooper
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Non-Compete, Trade Secret and School Negligence Lawyer
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