The Bumped Ladder

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Q: At a building that was under construction, my employer was reinforcing the ceiling.  As I stood on a ladder, it fell.  My ladder had been placed on the newly-poured concrete floor.  This floor was terribly uneven.  Along came another employee and bumped into my ladder.

A: Your attorney is likely to sue both under Labor Law § 240(1), for failure to provide adequate safety devices, and in common-law negligence.  Likely defendants include the owner, the general contractor, the construction manager and anyone else who may have exercised general control over the work site.

These entities had at least ‘constructive notice’ of the uneven floor condition that apparently was the cause of your fall – even if they did not actually know of it.  In addition, the defendants had the ability to stop the ceiling work from proceeding until the defect in the floor had been remedied.

Most likely, you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits.  In that case, your employer cannot be sued.  As a general rule, for one who is injured in the course of employment, the sole remedy against the employer lies in these benefits.  Nor may you circumvent the workers’ compensation scheme by suing your employer in a different capacity: even if your employer was the owner of the premises, you may not sue it.

Ordinarily, this workers’ compensation immunity extends even to a fellow employee.  However, if the co-worker deliberately rammed into your ladder, then we are talking about an intentional tort.  You can certainly sue him – if it is worth it.

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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