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DEFENDANTS' JUDGMENT Construction Site Negligence - Metal frame falls on subcontractor employee in process of tearing down drywall and standing on lower end of ladder at demolition site - Severe arm laceration - Nerve damage.

New York County, NY

The plaintiff, an employee of subcontractor was injured while performing construction at premises owned and managed by defendants when, while manually tearing down drywall with a sledgehammer, a piece of the metal frame fell and lacerated plaintiff’s arm, causing a deep wound and nerve damage.

The plaintiff was standing on a lower rung of a ladder when the frame fell into him and contended that the absolute liability provisions of Sec. ________ (1) were violated. The plaintiff also maintained, on a Sec. ________ (6) claim, that there was inadequate lighting in violation of the the Industrial Code, and that safeguards relating to the manner in which demolition by hand was conducted, were not followed, also violating Sec. ________ (6).

Violations of other sections of Industrial Code sections were alleged.

The defense denied that Sec. ________ (1) applied insofar as the work was being performed at the same level as the plaintiff and thus the work did not present a height related risk. The defense further pointed out that there was no evidence to show that the ladder was otherwise defective so as to violate Labor Law ________(1).

Defendants also argued that the sheet rock did not fall while being hoisted or secured or because of improper hoisting or securing and instead, came down pursuant solely to the plaintiff’s having removed it himself with a sledgehammer and thus, insufficient to violate Labor Law ________(1).

The defense further maintained that the Sec. ________ (6) claims should be dismissed. As to the alleged inadequate lighting, the defense argued that the plaintiff’s evidence on this issue was vague and unsubstantiated, and that in the absence of more definitive proof, it was entitled to summary judgment per controlling case law as violation could not be substantiated.

The defense also argued that the type of demolition work that the plaintiff was doing did not constitute demolition by hand as contemplated by the Industrial Code and explanatory case law and thus, this section of the Industrial Code could not be applicable. Applicable case law confirmed that removal of a portion of a wall was not "demolition as contemplated by the Industrial Code and thus, the work that the plaintiff in the instant case was doing was not "demolition by hand thus making that section of the Industrial Code inapplicable.

The Court concurred and dismissed the case.

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