Police Officer 5

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Q: I am a police officer.  While responding to a call at an apartment building, I slipped and fell on a stairway.  At the time, a contractor was engaged in performing renovation work in the building.  The stairway was covered with dirt and dust created by this renovation work.

A: The contractor may well have violated statutes like 12 NYCRR 23-1.7(e)(2) and 23-2.1(b) – by failing to keep the subject stairway clear of construction debris.  Such violations provide a sufficient predicate for the imposition of liability under General Municipal Law § 205-e.  The statute is applied  expansively so as to favor recovery by police officers whenever possible.  You will seek proof that the contractor indeed committed violations, by failing to keep the stairway free from dirt and debris insofar as consistent with the work being performed.

In addition, under General Obligations Law § 11-106, you also have a common-law cause of action for negligence.  The statute abolished the old ‘firefighter’s rule’ (barring such a claim) so long as the tortfeasor was not your employer or a co-employee.  Your attorney will seek proof that the contractor was liable in negligence.

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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