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Fullerton Beck Successfully Defends Client in Labor Law Claims Related to Hurricane Sandy Restoration Project; Court Dismisses Claims Against Power Washing Subcontractor

In a significant legal victory, Fullerton Beck Partner Susan Scaria successfully defended the firm’s client, a power washing subcontractor, against claims brought under Labor Law sections 240, 241(6), and 200. The case stemmed from an incident during a Hurricane Sandy Restoration project at the Queens Midtown Tunnel, where the plaintiff, performing power washing work, suffered a fall.

The plaintiff asserted claims against the owner’s construction manager, general contractor, and Fullerton Beck’s client, the power washing subcontractor. Labor Law sections 240 and 241(6) allow workers to bring claims against owners or contractors with sufficient control over the injury-producing work. However, Fullerton Beck moved for summary judgment on these claims against its client, presenting compelling evidence to the court.

Evidence submitted by Fullerton Beck demonstrated that its client did not exercise control over the work performed by the subcontractor. The contract between our client and the plaintiff’s employer explicitly required the latter to direct and supervise their employees, including the plaintiff, and provide necessary safety equipment. Testimonial evidence further supported our position, and confirmed that all direction and control over the plaintiff’s work came exclusively from his employer. Additionally, Fullerton Beck argued that neither Labor Law 240 nor 241(6) applied to the circumstances of the case. The plaintiff’s accident did not involve the effects of gravity to support a 240 claim, nor did it constitute a violation of safety regulations to support a 241(6) claim.

Following oral arguments, the court ruled in favor of Fullerton Beck’s client, dismissing the Labor Law claims entirely. This dismissal also led to the dismissal of crossclaims for indemnity against Fullerton Beck’s client.

This successful defense underscores Fullerton Beck’s dedication to providing effective legal representation and advocacy for its clients. The outcome highlights the firm’s ability to navigate complex legal matters and secure favorable results even in the difficult landscape for defendants under New York Labor Law.

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