Court of Appeals Declines to Apply Labor Law 240(1) to Worker Who Fell From Ladder While Cleaning Product Employer Manufactured

In Dahar v. Holland Ladder & Manufacturing Company, 2012 WL 538245 (February 21, 2012), the plaintiff was injured when he fell from a ladder in a factory while cleaning a product manufactured by his employer. The Court of Appeals held that his activity was not protected by Labor Law § 240(1). The product in question was a steel “wall module” made by third party defendant West Metal Works, Inc. at its plant in Cheektowaga, New York. The module was at least seven feet high: West’s customer, defendant Bechtel National, Inc., was purchasing it for installation in a nuclear waste … Read the rest

Social Hosts Held To Not Have Duty to Control Manner in Which Intoxicated Guest Drives Off Their Premises

In the Court of Appeals decision Martino v. Stolzman, 2012 WL 488098, 2012 N.Y. Slip Op. 01145 (February 16, 2012), the defendant attended a New Year’s Eve party at a friend’s home where he consumed alcohol. At approximately 12:30 A.M., the defendant left the party and got into his truck, with another party guest in the passenger seat. The defendant backed his truck out of the home’s driveway onto the main road and collided with an oncoming vehicle driven by the plaintiff. Following the motor vehicle accident, a test revealed that the defendant had a blood alcohol content … Read the rest

Hempstead Turnpike Most Deadly Road on Long Island for Pedestrians

A study by Newsday of pedestrian accidents reports from 2005 through 2010 published in today’s paper finds that pedestrians are killed an average of more than five times a year on Hempstead Turnpike’s 16 miles through Nassau County, making it Long Island’s most dangerous road. Thirty-two people were killed and at least 427 injured in 457 pedestrian accidents. Three more people have died since last July.

Even crossing at intersections is not safe. More than half of the incidents examined occurred at intersections. Pedestrians were struck far more often by drivers turning left than turning right. Seventy percent of the … Read the rest

Construction-Related Accidents Decreased By 18 Percent In 2011 Even As Construction Permits Increased Across New York City

There was an 18 percent decrease in construction-related accidents in New York City for 2011, despite a 7.7 percent increase in the issuance of construction permits citywide. Construction-related injuries also decreased across the City last year – falling from 165 reported accidents in 2010 to 152 in 2011, a reduction of 7.8 percent. In total, there were five construction-related fatalities in 2011, a slight increase from four fatalities in 2010, but a 73 percent decrease when compared to 2008.

The Department of Buildings has implemented more than 25 new construction safety laws since 2008 to enhance public safety and provide … Read the rest

Progress in New York’s Wrongful Death Statute But Still Hard to Explain Its Unfairness to Clients

New York is in a minority of states in America that has a wrongful death statute that does not allow the decedent’s family to be compensated for their emotional grief over their loss. So when a family recently came to see me about the completely unexpected loss of their son who was in his 20’s they were shocked to learn that the law prohibited them from recovering for their “pain and suffering” – only the decedent’s pain and suffering is recoverable. New York law does allow for the awarding of interest from the date of death, and the Court of … Read the rest