Q: I was employed by the owner of a residential condominium building, responsible for such things as vacuuming and dusting the hallways, and cleaning garbage rooms and stairwells.  One day, to obtain a replacement light bulb, I entered an internal staircase and walked down to a landing.  It was covered with construction dust.  The hallways were being renovated, and I tripped over a tool bag belonging to the general contractor, which I understand was responsible for cleaning up after its own work.

A rep of the management company was overseeing the project.  The rep would interact with the contractor on a day-to-day basis, make decisions regarding the work and get materials moved around so that there was clear access to apartments and stairways.

A: Presumably, you have been receiving workers’ compensation, and so may not sue your employer, the building owner.  However, you appear to have a strong case against both the contractor and the management company, which appears to have served as an agent of the owner.

You will seek to prove such facts as that the rep oversaw the quality of the work, told the construction workers when he was displeased, made decisions about the work, was authorized to shut down the job if there was an unsafe condition, and had spoken with the workers about not leaving tools and construction dust in the common areas.  In this way you can hope to establish that the management company exercised general control, and so is liable.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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