LIEB BLOG

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Showing posts with label general contractor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label general contractor. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Home Construction Injuries - How to Get Sued and Lose

Generally, homeowners are exempt from liability for construction-related injuries that happen in their home. 


However, homeowners become liable if they direct or control the method and manner of work. 


What does that rule mean to you?


The Appellate Courts, in O'Mara v. Ranalli, just taught us that it is a jury question where there is evidence that the homeowner did the following acts:

  • Supplied the ladders used by the contractors;
  • Being on site and giving direction nearly every day; and 
  • Deciding not to permit the installation of stairs from the basement to the first floor in the face of the contractor insisting that it was needed for safer and easier access to the first floor.

If you get called to jury duty on this one, how would you decide? Did the homeowner direct or control the method and manner of work? Should the homeowner be responsible for ensuing injuries?




Monday, February 08, 2021

Construction GCs Should Videotape Their Worksites to Avoid Lawsuits

Typically, when a construction worker gets injured on the job from an elevated fall, it's a slam dunk case against the GC. 


In fact, Labor Law § 240(1) imposes strict or absolute liability on general contractors, owners, and their agents regardless if the injured worker is partially at fault for falls at construction sites. 


The only real defense for the GC is that the injured worker was the sole proximate cause of the accident (called the, "recalcitrant worker" defense). But, how do you prove sole cause when everyone claims different facts? 


We just learned the answer in an appellate division case, Cordova v 653 Eleventh Ave. LLC.


The case was dismissed because "Surveillance footage of plaintiff falling from the ladder demonstrates that" it was solely the injured worker's fault. The ladder didn't move or shake, it was connected to the sidewalk bridge and scaffolding above and tied to the scaffold too. 


Moving forward, GCs should video your construction sites. It can save you a fortune.