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  • Andre A. Brochetelli, Esq.

Dismissal of Action Favoring Defendant Scaffolding Contractor

Updated: Jul 22, 2023

We are pleased to report that Judge Thomas D. Raffaele of the Supreme Court, Queens County, granted defendant's motion for summary judgment and dismissed the plaintiff’s action against our client, Safway Atlantic, the a scaffolding contractor and the scaffold lighting contractor. The plaintiff, a City maintenance worker, commenced suit alleging that he was struck in the head by a falling light fixture while working at the Queens County Criminal Courthouse. The plaintiff alleged that the light fixture fell from a sidewalk bridge that had been positioned at the Queens County Criminal Courthouse for building repairs. The City was not named in the action.

Judge Raffaele dismissed the negligence claims as against all defendants due to an absence of any duty owed to the plaintiff. The incident occurred more than one year after the completion of the scaffolding. The scaffolding was inspected by defendant Safway, and no complaints were received by Safway relative to the scaffolding until the plaintiff's incident. Further, the Court found that the plaintiff did not fall within the specific class of workers protected by the Labor Law, and dismissed all the labor law claims. Similarly, Safway did not cause or create the alleged condition nor did Safway owe plaintiff any duty. It is well settled that a contractor hired to perform work at a location is not generally liable to a third-party who sustains personal injuries at the premises, either in tort or for the alleged breach of an underlying contract which injures a third-party (see Espinal v Melville Snow Contractors, 98 N.Y.2d 136 [2002])

The Court's decision was not appealed by the plaintiff's counsel.


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